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.

    Opinion: How can we better engage residents in creating West Hollywood?

    Opinion: How can we better engage residents in creating West Hollywood?

    Thu, Jun 22, 2017 23 Comments

    I find making appointments to our city’s commissions and advisory boards one of the most challenging responsibilities of serving on the City Council. I get excited about the prospect of bringing new ideas into the fold until I am reminded that in order for new people to serve, I have to replace current appointees or wait for them to step aside.

    Frankly, the whole process has become too politicized and not enough about public service, which is why I propose making all appointments at-large by the entire City Council. While it might be easy and safe to simply protect the status quo, I believe it is our council’s responsibility to ensure that a diversity of perspectives is included in our community dialogue and to try to give more people an opportunity to be involved. In addition to being passionate, our community members are wildly…

    Let’s Discuss: Should Red Light Cameras Be Used to Ticket  Rolling Right Turn Violations?

    Let’s Discuss: Should Red Light Cameras Be Used to Ticket Rolling Right Turn Violations?

    Wed, May 24, 2017 18 Comments

    Making a right turn at a red light without stopping is an undeniable violation of the law. But some protest the cost of the tickets and the usefulness of the program.

    Opinion:  Make West Hollywood a City to Look Up To

    Opinion: Make West Hollywood a City to Look Up To

    Mon, May 22, 2017 4 Comments

    If someone were to grab you off the street, tie you to a post, and force you to watch every “Spongebob Squarepants” episode ever made unless you answered the question, “What is the most beautiful city in the world?” what would you tell them?

    If you’re like me, after you escaped your bonds, smashed the TV, and had a few choice words for your captor, you might later answer the question with “Paris,” or “Prague,” or perhaps “Rome.” [Yes, I have a Euro bias]

    You probably would not think of West Hollywood, or even Los Angeles during your ordeal, at least not as serious answers for a ludicrous situation. [Why would anyone force you to watch Spongebob? Except perhaps the nine-year-old you have to babysit some long weekend. Yes it happened to me, leaving out the bit about the pole]

    Even if Paris, Rome, or Prague…

    Opinion: WeHo Takes Gay Pride Hostage

    Opinion: WeHo Takes Gay Pride Hostage

    Thu, May 18, 2017 40 Comments

    A seismic shift is occurring in Los Angeles’ gay and lesbian communities. On June 11 the anachronistic Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood will be replaced by a Gay Resist March, reconnecting the gay community to its Gay Liberation roots. Its target, however, is not systemic heterosexual supremacy but The Donald.

    But there is a large and pressing problem confronting the gay community in Los Angeles in this regard. West Hollywood, the site of the annual Gay Pride event, promotes itself as “The World’s Most Incredible & Magical Gay City,” by extension symbolizing the L.A. gay community. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time to rescue the Gay Pride celebration from West Hollywood where it has been taken hostage-for-profit by the city and its business interests.

    Incorporated as a city in 1984, Weho is 1.89 square miles in…

    Opinion: WeHo’s Bike/Ped Mobility Plan Should Be More Ambitious

    Opinion: WeHo’s Bike/Ped Mobility Plan Should Be More Ambitious

    Mon, May 01, 2017 32 Comments

    At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will consider a draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan. As someone whose primary modes of transit are my feet and my bike, I am grateful for the city’s commitment to making West Hollywood a safer, more comfortable place to get around in an environmentally friendly way. I appreciate city […]

    Opinion: What’s Up about the Surge in Assaults on WeHo Streets?

    Opinion: What’s Up about the Surge in Assaults on WeHo Streets?

    Thu, Apr 27, 2017 10 Comments

    My evil Uncle John was a “police reporter” early in his long journalism career and filled a column every day with the criminal antics of his city. John’s reporting was rather dull, pedestrian and dry, but some of the local lads still used its items as part of their resumes. Looking back, those days were […]

    Opinion: We Resist the #Resist March

    Opinion: We Resist the #Resist March

    Thu, Apr 27, 2017 6 Comments

    June 12th, 2017, will be the one year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine members of the LGBT community and straight allies lost their lives that night, and 68 others were wounded when a radical Islamic terrorist carried out a vicious attack on those simply wanting to have a fun night out with friends. It was the deadliest shooting in American history.

    We all remember where we were when we first heard of this horrific act of barbarism. In Los Angeles, people in our community woke up on Sunday morning, the second day of our usually joyous LGBT Pride Festival, to the news of what had happened to our brothers and sisters the night before- in a place that most LGBT people consider sacred and safe. Fear, sadness and uncertainty carried the day in West Hollywood, where city officials, law enforcement…

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    Trusted Builder Makes Your Renovation Dreams Come True From Concept To Completion

    Trusted Builder Makes Your Renovation Dreams Come True From Concept To Completion

    Thu, Mar 02, 2017

    Often the kitchen of our dreams only stays in our dreams when we face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of renovation headaches. We know we deserve the open-plan, tiled space with the finest appliances to whip up culinary breakthroughs while entertaining with cocktails or Italian wine, but we never seem to make it happen. With the […]

    Opinion: The Resist March Is What WeHo Is All About

    Opinion: The Resist March Is What WeHo Is All About

    Tue, Apr 25, 2017 22 Comments

    We can resist with love this coming Pride weekend, knowing we may have to resist with anger later as our forefathers (and mothers) did in 1979, pictured above.

    Let’s Discuss: WeHo: Shabby? Chic? A Mix of Both? What Do You Think?

    Let’s Discuss: WeHo: Shabby? Chic? A Mix of Both? What Do You Think?

    Mon, Apr 24, 2017 8 Comments

    “West Hollywood Is Los Angeles’s Shabby Chic Neighborhood”?

    Those of us who live here may beg to differ about “shabby”. But that’s the label from Mansion Global mansionglobal.com, which bills itself as a “premier digital destination connecting the world’s affluent real estate buyers with prestige properties across the globe…”

    Its story about WeHo as a shabby chic enclave is the latest in a list on its website that includes a look at a $12 million Manhattan duplex, the superyachts that it declares “are the epitome of luxury living” and the fact that Marlene Dietrich’s former Westwood home is on the market now for $6.5 million. The story is especially interesting during this time of debate about WeHo’s status as an “urban village.” It raises the question of whether the village, which

    Opinion:  More Billboards on the Sunset Strip Should Mean More Benefits to the Public

    Opinion: More Billboards on the Sunset Strip Should Mean More Benefits to the Public

    Mon, Apr 24, 2017 3 Comments

    The City of West Hollywood presented its proposed update to the Sunset Strip signage policy to the community for its input last week. And while this is just a first proposal for an update to the city’s current Sunset Strip plan, the unfortunate reality is that the city will increase billboards along the Strip regardless of public opposition.

    However, at this time, we have an opportunity to weigh in on what City Hall can do to benefit the Sunset Strip and the neighborhoods around it.

    I recommend that interested parties submit their own comments to City Hall (email them to Sarah Lejeune at slejeune@weho.org and ask her to include your comments in all City Council agenda packets).

    These are my suggestions.

    NUMBER OF BILLBOARDS

    Recognizing the city is likely to approve the full 20 billboards proposed anyway, I would request…

    Opinion: Foes of Development Need to Remember What WeHo Was Founded On

    Opinion: Foes of Development Need to Remember What WeHo Was Founded On

    Mon, Apr 17, 2017 18 Comments

    Gobsmacked. That English word, which means “utterly astonished, astounded” was what I felt when I read the summary of a recent survey commissioned by the city that says a majority of West Hollywood residents don’t want more apartment buildings in our city.

    Yes, they want more affordable apartments (what else would one have the nerve to say in a city built on protecting renters’ rights?) Just don’t build them in our neighborhood, please.

    A deep read into the survey’s findings shows that those who own their homes (that’s 20% of the population) are more likely to oppose new apartment buildings than are those who rent. Old folks also are more likely to oppose new apartment buildings. And so are those who have lived here a long time.

    A major reason offered by the opponents is fear of more traffic. Yes, traffic is a…

    Opinion: Even in WeHo, Trans People Struggle for Acceptance

    Opinion: Even in WeHo, Trans People Struggle for Acceptance

    Mon, Apr 17, 2017 30 Comments

    West Hollywood is known as a progressive city, in part for its acceptance of gay men, who make up 40% of its population. In theory, the city also is accepting of lesbians, although there are few here. As for transgender people, well the city does have a Transgender Advisory Board. However, it’s not unusual to […]

    Let’s Discuss: If Cali Has an Official Dinosaur, Should WeHo Have Its Own Animal?

    Let’s Discuss: If Cali Has an Official Dinosaur, Should WeHo Have Its Own Animal?

    Fri, Mar 31, 2017 6 Comments

    State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced a bill that would give California its first official state dinosaur. The legislation, AB 1540, would honor Augustynolophus morissi, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago.

    “Dinosaurs are cool and highlighting a dinosaur that has such a deep connection to our state will stimulate interest in paleontology and science overall, particularly with children,” Bloom said in an announcement of the move from his office. “Having an interest in one branch of science often leads a child to be interested in other areas of science so this bill aligns with the investment we have made in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as S.T.E.M, programs.”

    If the legislature (and Gov. Jerry Brown) accept Bloom’s proposal, the…

    A Warm Goodbye to Capt. (Now Commander) Holly Perez

    A Warm Goodbye to Capt. (Now Commander) Holly Perez

    Fri, Mar 31, 2017

    Law enforcement is a career that people embrace for many reasons, but public service — doing good for others – is perhaps the most common of them.

    Once upon a time law enforcement officers were pretty much universally admired — seen as good folks, people who risked their lives to keep the rest of us safe, people never reluctant to be stopped on the sidewalk to answer a question. Think Sheriff Andy of Mayberry.

    These days being a law enforcement officer isn’t so easy.

    There always have been bad eggs in the law enforcement basket – as is the case in any profession. However the proliferation of social media and 24/7 news media has made it easy to call out the behavior of those few bad eggs to huge audiences, casting shade on the reputations of their good peers. Law enforcement also has itself to blame for a trend of…

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