Opinion: City Government 101 — a Guide for the West Hollywood City Council

Opinion: City Government 101 — a Guide for the West Hollywood City Council

The City Council needs to open up to residents with more frequent and less drawn-out public meetings, and it needs to learn the basics of the council-manager form of government.

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: WeHo Must Ensure that Its General Plan Will Protect the City’s Character

Opinion: WeHo Must Ensure that Its General Plan Will Protect the City’s Character

Tue, Nov 22, 2016 18 Comments

The Planning Commission seemed exasperated. Residents near the proposed four-story development on Flores Street were hoping to mitigate the impacts of the massive project on their neighborhood. They complained of the ugly, prison-like design, inadequate street setbacks, the impact on street parking and the fact that the developer was able to build a fourth story merely by including a single affordable unit in the project. A woman worried about feeling claustrophobic as the project would block her view. One member of the commission seemed particularly annoyed, wearily reminding the public that “you can’t protect a view”. It was hard not to be sympathetic to the neighbors who were concerned about the negative impacts the project would have on their street. Like folks all over West Hollywood they feel besieged by new, out-of-scale...

WeHo’s John Duran a Recipient of LGBT Latino/a Activist Award

WeHo’s John Duran a Recipient of LGBT Latino/a Activist Award

Sun, Nov 20, 2016

West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran is one of 41 recipients of this year's Honor 41 Awards, which acknowledge Latino/a activists in the LGBT community. Honor 41 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote positive images of the Latino/a LGBT community and bring that community together online. "41" has long had a negative connotation in Mexican culture. The Honor 41 website notes that it has been used to label someone as a "maricon/joto which in English translates to calling someone faggot/gay." That stems from an incident in 1901 known as the "Dance of the Forty One. Police in Mexico City raided a private party reportedly attended by some very influential people. Of the 41 people at the party, at least half were said to be "wearing elegant ladies' dresses, wigs, false breasts, earrings, embroidered slippers,...

Opinion: Why Won’t the WeHo City Council Speak Up on What Matters?

Opinion: Why Won’t the WeHo City Council Speak Up on What Matters?

Wed, Nov 16, 2016 12 Comments

Will banning the sale of meth pipes in West Hollywood help reduce the use among our city's gay residents of one of the world's most addictive and destructive drugs? Maybe yes. Maybe no. There are arguments on both sides that are worth a listen. But one thing is clear: The proposal for a ban raised on Monday night by Patrick Shandrick of the city's Human Services Commission and Estevan Montemayor of the Public Safety Commission will promote a long-needed discussion about something that affects more West Hollywood lives than do poorly lit crosswalks. The debate over the proposed ban also illuminates the strange unwillingness of our City Council to publicly tackle the meth issue and other controversial local subjects. As has been noted before, our elected officials will vote to condemn the dog meat market in Yulin, China, or the...

Opinion:  Democrats, I Did What You Asked, and It Still Isn’t Enough

Opinion: Democrats, I Did What You Asked, and It Still Isn’t Enough

Thu, Nov 10, 2016 7 Comments

When my significant other told me about Bernie Sanders as his campaign started, I dismissed his claims that this guy sounded like “the real deal.” I was dismissive of him and told him that Clinton was going to be the nominee and that she would be president. Boy was I wrong. The more I listened […]

WeHo Reacts to the Trump Victory, and Words of Inspiration from One of the City’s Founders

WeHo Reacts to the Trump Victory, and Words of Inspiration from One of the City’s Founders

Thu, Nov 10, 2016 15 Comments

It's no surprise that most residents of a city like West Hollywood, incorporated in 1984 to protect the rights of renters and LGBT people, are reeling from the results of Tuesday night's presidential election. Jason Farone, known for his comedic video series every Thursday, took to the streets in West Hollywood last night to capture the reaction of our community to Tuesday's election of Donald Trump as president. As you'll see in the video above, most still feel shocked and horrified, while a few say they are going to pick themselves up and move forward. Meanwhile, City Councilmember John Heilman, one of the activists who helped incorporate West Hollywood as a city in 1984, reached out to City Hall staffers with a message of inspiration. That message, in its entirety, is posted below: "Hi Everyone. "I know many people at...

Opinion: Dealing with a National Disaster

Opinion: Dealing with a National Disaster

Tue, Nov 08, 2016 22 Comments

As a young adult I was devastated when Ronald Regan defeated Jimmy Carter for the presidency. I was outraged when Al Gore’s victory was stolen by George W. Bush. But none of these emotions quite equal the sense of loss, disorientation and fear that I have for our future in a Trump Presidency. This is […]

Case No. 06303 – The Bicycle Thief – a Drama with No Resolution

Case No. 06303 – The Bicycle Thief – a Drama with No Resolution

Fri, Oct 28, 2016 2 Comments

Sometimes I wonder if there is not an entity somewhere pulling strings and pushing levers so that we humans can raise our eyebrows at what we may call coincidence or even serendipity. Try this one on for size. First note -Once a week I check the Aspen Times website, keeping an eye on events in that little town where we own a small condo. The second item I came upon read: “Cops: Arrest may solve rash of high end of Aspen bike thefts .” The man arrested was tied to thefts of bikes, which he then advertised for sale on eBay. That would be good news for many of the locals who now use their bikes more than their cars. Second note - Earlier in the day I had been going through a box of VCR tapes and testing to see if they were still playable. The last one I looked at was "The Bicycle Thief," a great classic Italian film from...

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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

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: WeHo Residents Must Vote to Stir the Pot

Opinion: WeHo Residents Must Vote to Stir the Pot

Fri, Oct 14, 2016 14 Comments

“Two chickens in every pot!” Thus began the sardonic rejoinder from New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as he responded to Herbert Hoover’s election promise during the 1928 presidential campaign. Just months prior to the start of the Great Depression of 1929, Hoover’s Republican platform heralded a time when there would be “ a chicken in […]

Opinion: WeHo’s Parking Garage – from ‘Gee Whiz’ to ‘Golly Gee’

Opinion: WeHo’s Parking Garage – from ‘Gee Whiz’ to ‘Golly Gee’

Thu, Oct 13, 2016 28 Comments

It has been touted as practically the Eighth Wonder of the World. The automated garage behind City Hall has been loudly proclaimed to demonstrate that the little City of West Hollywood is on the cutting edge of creative technology. I have used the structure several times, and it is pretty cool to think how you […]

WeHo’s Duke Mason Plans to Boost the Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott

WeHo’s Duke Mason Plans to Boost the Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott

Tue, Oct 11, 2016 2 Comments

Mason and other celebrity and political figures will host a protest Saturday at Will Rogers Park in Beverly Hills, across Sunset from the hotel.

Opinion: Life in the Construction Zone, Part IV

Opinion: Life in the Construction Zone, Part IV

Fri, Oct 07, 2016 3 Comments

In a time far, far behind me, when I was 16, I took a job with Benny and Barney Siegel as they carefully expanded their empire of three-decker apartment buildings in the eastern city of my youth. This was a time of conservation of useful things, long before the full onslaught of our ”buy it […]

Opinion: When Will WeHo Act to Stop Texting Drivers?

Opinion: When Will WeHo Act to Stop Texting Drivers?

Fri, Oct 07, 2016 6 Comments

I live on Santa Monica Boulevard, about a block away from the soon to be revamped Movie Town Plaza. I am dreading when that building and its attendant traffic flood our overly crowded streets. There are two things that I simply don’t understand about the measures or lack of measures to smooth out the traffic […]

‘The Chase’ Adds Artistic Drama to Santa Monica Boulevard

‘The Chase’ Adds Artistic Drama to Santa Monica Boulevard

Fri, Sep 30, 2016 2 Comments

The latest installation of West Hollywood's 'Art on the Outside' program depicts coyotes chasing rabbits, created by artist Hacer.

Opinion: Let’s Keep Fighting 8150 Sunset Blvd.

Opinion: Let’s Keep Fighting 8150 Sunset Blvd.

Fri, Sep 30, 2016 22 Comments

I have been a resident of West Hollywood for the past 30 years. I live just south of Sunset Boulevard across the street from the Chateau Marmont, a historic and cultural landmark. Over the years our city has changed dramatically with the granting of too many development projects along our famed Sunset Boulevard (and elsewhere […]

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