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: 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 2 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 2 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…

    Opinion: The Resist March Is What WeHo Is All About

    Opinion: The Resist March Is What WeHo Is All About

    Tue, Apr 25, 2017 21 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 16 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 23 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 […]

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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 […]

    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…

    Opinion: Smart Growth For The Future — Development In West Hollywood

    Opinion: Smart Growth For The Future — Development In West Hollywood

    Mon, Mar 27, 2017 16 Comments

    I think all of us who live in West Hollywood would agree that we are lucky to live in such an amazing city. Clean streets, strong fiscal management, a progressive political and cultural environment among many other positive things. Like any city, however, we have a few areas that could be improved upon, and one issue of concern to many of our residents is the increased cost of housing. Housing affordability is an issue that affects millions of people across our country, and it certainly is a challenge here as well.

    Some have tried to blame an increase in development as being the cause of this problem. And I would agree with that to the extent that it certainly doesn’t help when we build more condos and more luxury apartments that only a certain income level of people can afford. But I would argue that development in general…

    Let’s Discuss: Are Pooches a Problem in Public Places?

    Let’s Discuss: Are Pooches a Problem in Public Places?

    Wed, Mar 22, 2017 42 Comments

    Is the perceived proliferation of dogs in the city’s bars, shops and restaurants really a problem? If it is, what, given the restrictions noted above, should be done about it?

    Opinion: Gay Pride Parade or Protest?

    Opinion: Gay Pride Parade or Protest?

    Mon, Mar 13, 2017 38 Comments

    The annual LA Pride Parade is the loudest celebration showcasing LGBT pride. On a parade route you can feel the living soul of Pride. An unabashed celebration. A full display of our community. Unity among groups. The breadth of our community in full view for all to join. The good times are the most glorious of days.

    Way back in 1969, when I was a ten-year-old tot, there was this riot in New York City at a gay club called Stonewall. It was the first time the gays stuck together and fought back against the police. They weren’t giving up. And the spark to the flame of the modern gay rights movement began.

    Think back on last year and the community revolt against Christopher Street West (CSW)’s decision to coin LA Pride as a music festival. CSW President Chris Classen proclaimed “our demographic is…

    Opinion: I Recall When It Seemed to be A Lot More Fun

    Opinion: I Recall When It Seemed to be A Lot More Fun

    Sat, Mar 11, 2017 2 Comments

    Election day, that is. The exact years are lost in the fog of my memory, but much else of the occasion remains.

    The day before election day, we were treated to vans and trucks slowly touring the streets, their loudspeakers blaring out partisan messages to the electorate. They were evident all day and evening. Traditional buntings were hung everywhere, and flags were common at the fancier houses. Jimmy Condon, our ward boss, was rushing around passing out beer chits and asking those who warranted them if the food basket had arrived. Jimmy was a busy lad and took his job seriously. He also played a snare drum in a band which would be part of the parade the next day. Naturally, Jimmy worked for the incumbent Democrat mayor, James Michael Curley, who was both celebrated and reviled, depending upon one’s view of life.

    Curley delivered…

    Opinion: This City Council Is Giving the City Away

    Opinion: This City Council Is Giving the City Away

    Mon, Mar 06, 2017 26 Comments

    The sitting City Council is granting favors to real estate developers rather than doing its job, which is to protect and advocate for the residents of the city. Time after time, it approves outsized real estate projects that are not in conformity with the law of West Hollywood, as set forth in the city’s General Plan and zoning code. What’s worse, it ignores required procedures designed to give the public a voice in city government.

    The 8899 Beverly Blvd. project is a recent, glaring example of government for the developers, by the developers’ lawyers, and of a sellout City Council. The city approved a project to produce luxury condos in the million-dollar range, a project to double the size of a building that was already too large to comply with the General Plan for the city, nonconforming with its zoning, and not within the…

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