West Hollywood

Todd Michael Schultz Arrested In West Hollywood

February 19, 2024 ·

Caricature Sketch of Todd Michael Schultz by ~ss

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, February 13, Todd Michael Schultz, 37, was arrested at his West Hollywood condominium following an alleged trespassing incident. Reports indicate that Schultz illegally entered the home of an unnamed female in a neighboring condo.
The woman found Schultz rummaging through her things and called 911.

Members of the Condominium association were able to identify Schultz who lived in a nearby condominium with longtime partner, friend, author, and screenwriter, Brett Easton Ellis. There was no indication that Ellis had anything to do with his roommate trespassing into a neighbor’s home.

Ellis responded to a media request by the New York Times indicating that Schultz was experiencing some sort of mental break, and that he (Schultz) had, “serious mental health issues exacerbated by drugs.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department does not have Schultz listed in the online Inmate Locator on their website.

Schultz was initially booked into Twin Towers on a $51,000 bond and was placed on lockdown. Ellis reportedly told the New York Times that Schultz who was reportedly assigned an initial court hearing date for Friday, February 16, was, “in no position,” to be in court.

Todd Michael Schultz is a composer and pop singer who is known for animated theme songs including, but not limited to, “Sam Sam,” “Sailor Moon,” “Live Like a Rock Star,” and for his part in the pop ballad, “You Believed in Me.” Schultz is also the son of Bill Schultz who is the producer of the cartoon, The Simpson’s.

By Sharon

At-Risk Missing Person Lilya Staseyva Found Safe

February 14, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The LASD reported on its Facebook page on Wednesday, February 14 that the Missing Persons Unit is advising Lilya Staseyva has been located.

Staseyva was reported missing on Tuesday, February 13, after last being seen at 6 p.m. on the 1200 block of North Orange Grove Avenue. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a black or navy long sleeve shirt, lilac pajama top, blue pants with stripes, and gray slippers. She suffers from various medical conditions that caused concern for her well-being.

“Thank you to the public, the media, and deputy personnel for their tireless efforts in the search for Ms. Staseyva,” said the LASD in a statement.

By Trevor

Pickpockets Encroach On West Hollywood

February 12, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On February 10, an alert was sent out by party organizer, @paulnichollsent sent posts out on his Instagram and Twitter accounts warning fellow partygoers of the presence of pickpockets at Rocco’s on Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente. At least one perpetrator has been arrested.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department weekly crime report for West Hollywood included the following thefts.

On January 27, an individual was waiting in line to get in the club when another individual approached, hugged the victim, and took his cell phone from his coat pocket.

Approximately 20 minutes later the same day, LASD reports an individual was walking in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard when he was approached by a suspect who grabbed his cell phone and keys out of his hand.

On January 28, in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard a person was standing on the sidewalk when approached by a suspect who then took the phone from the victim’s hand.

Canyon News reached out to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for further information by phone and email, but did not hear back in time for print.

Those who may have more information or may have fallen victim to a similar crime in the area is encouraged to call the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station at 310-855-8850


By Sharon

Construction Begins On N. San Vicente Boulevard And Rosewood Avenue

February 8, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Wednesday, February 7, the city of West Hollywood announced on its website that construction has started for pedestrian safety improvements on N. San Vicente Boulevard and Rosewood Avenue.

The project includes new curb ramps, pedestrian/bicycle refuge islands, re-grading and re-paving of existing asphalt pavement, striping and signage improvements, EV charging station relocation, and pedestrian/bicycle crosswalks with a pedestrian hybrid beacon that is activated by pedestrians and/or bicyclists. Construction activities started in February 2024 and are expected to be completed by July 2024, weather permitting.

The city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release the crosswalk improvement effort is part of a commitment to explore a mix of measures to address safety. The constant movement of dense vehicular traffic and pedestrians in close proximity is a challenge not only in West Hollywood but in cities across the country. The enhanced crosswalks join a variety of improvements as part of a comprehensive plan with three unique areas to improve pedestrian safety: Engineering, Enforcement, and Education. Read about other pedestrian safety updates in the City here.

For additional details about West Hollywood’s engineering efforts to improve safety, contact the Department of Public Works at (323) 848-6375. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

One Arrested In $5 Million Nike Theft Ring

January 31, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, January 29, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Commercial Crimes Division announced the arrest of Roy Lee Harvey Jr. 37, in connection with the theft of close to $5 million worth of Nike gear.

Thousands Of Nike Shoes Stolen

According to the LAPD website, on Saturday, January 27, LAPD detectives from the Commercial Crimes Division Cargo Theft Unit, Major Theft Unit, Major Theft Task Force, and the Organized Retail Crime Task Force executed search warrants of warehouses in about a 15-mile radius between the cities of Hollywood and Hawthorne.

During the investigation investigators saw Harvey delivering what had been deemed to be stolen Nike sporting good products to the Hawthorne warehouse.

Unique Nike Prototypes Stolen

LAPD detectives were assisted by Nike’s Global Security Director and supply chain investigators. In their search and execution of two search warrants investigators discovered thousands of Nike shoes, clothing, and accessories including some unique Nike prototypes.

Roy Lee Harvey Jr. was arrested for receiving, redistributing, and reselling a high dollar amount of stolen property. He was booked for 496(a) PC – Receiving stolen property. The booking number assigned to him is 6749801.

Harvey is describes as being a black male. He is six feet tall and weighs 205 lbs.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Commercial Crimes Division, at (213) 486-5920, between 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

By Sharon

WeHo City Hall Will Be Closed For President’s Day

January 31, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood announced on Tuesday, January 30 that in observance of Presidents’ Day, City Hall will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2024.

The following parking regulations will not be enforced on Monday, February 19:

-Parking Meters and associated time limits
-Peak Hour Towing Restrictions
-Street Sweeping

Permit Parking and all other parking regulations will be enforced. The enforcement of all parking regulations will resume on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

Visitor parking permits may be obtained at the Kings Road Parking Garage.

By Trevor

Bomb Scare Cleared Without Further Incident

January 30, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, January 29, at 9:08 a.m., the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Special Enforcement Bureau announced on social media site X that the SEB Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team has concluded.

“#LASD SEB SWAT canine operation in support of LASD Century Station for an armed suspect with canine “Jango” has concluded. Suspect in custody, Traub Avenue, reopened. Neighborhood safe.”

Reports indicate that the suspicious package was determined to be non-hazardous.

On Sunday, the LASD SEB reported an all clear after a suspicious package was dropped off at the Louis Vuitton retail store, at 8800 Melrose Avenue.

According to reports the bomb threat impacted the area between Robertson Boulevard and down to Santa Monica Boulevard.

The following information about the LASD SEB came directly from the LASD SEB website.  

“The law enforcement agency charged with maintaining order within Los Angeles County is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or LASD. The LASD’s 8,200 sworn deputies provide services to the unincorporated county areas, the Department’s 40 contract cities, and the independent cities within the county that have mutual aid agreements with the Sheriff’s Department.”

By Sharon

City Warns Public About Cryptocurrency Fraud And Scams

January 30, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city is launching an effort to help inform community members about how to protect themselves from cryptocurrency fraud and scams.

The city of West Hollywood reported on its website that cryptocurrency is digital currency acquired through an app on a phone, a website, or at a cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Bitcoin and Ether are well-known cryptocurrencies, but there are others. Scammers can use cryptocurrencies because they do not have the same legal protections as credit cards or debit cards, and payments usually cannot be reversed.

Here are some tips to avoid cryptocurrency scams:

-Only scammers demand payment in cryptocurrency. No legitimate business or government agency will demand any type of payment with cryptocurrency; that is a scam.
-Never pay a fee to get a job. If someone asks for upfront payment to secure a job with cryptocurrency or any other type of payment; that is a scam.
-Never mix cryptocurrency and online dating. If a potential online date asks for cryptocurrency or wants to “help” invest in crypto; that is a scam.
-Do research on companies and organizations before investing or sending money to avoid falling victim to an illegitimate company or website. When companies or websites (fake or not) have look or sound-alike names to well-known organizations, the potential confusion created for consumers is real. Attempting to take advantage of such confusion is a tactic employed by bad actors looking to profit from unsuspecting consumers.

The State of California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced the launch of a Crypto Scam Tracker to help Californians spot and avoid crypto scams. The tracker details apparent crypto scams identified through a review of complaints submitted by the public and allows California consumers and investors to complete their own research and prevent harm to themselves and others.

The site features a database searchable by company name, scam type, or keywords to learn more about the crypto-specific complaints the DFPI received. An accompanying glossary aims to help consumers better understand common scams. As reports of new crypto scams emerge, the DFPI will continually update this tracker to promptly alert and protect the public.

For community members who believe they have been a victim of a scam or fraud, or hear about a scam that is currently not listed on the Scam Tracker should notify the DFPI immediately by filing a complaint with the DFPI online at https://dfpi.ca.gov/submit-a-complaint or by calling toll-free: (866) 275-2677.

For more details contact Anita Shandi, West Hollywood’s Public Safety Manager at (323) 848-6446 or at ashandi@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

LAFD Air Operations Rescue Two In West Hollywood

January 29, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Saturday, January 27, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Air Operations airlifted two separate hikers to safety. LAFD reported the basic information about the rescues on the LAFD X social media page.

According to LAFD the first rescue occurred at 10:29 a.m. in the area of 3693 N. Wonder View Dr. Responding firefighters located a 44-year-old male hiker who had experienced a ground level fall.

LAFD Air Operations hoisted the man into the helicopter and transported him to an area hospital for treatment.

On Saturday, January 27, at 12:40 p.m. LAFD Air Operations responded to a call of a 40 year-old male hiker in medical distress. LAFD firefighters located the man on Runyon Canyon Rd. in Hollywood Hills West.

LAFD Air Operations from Battalion 5, West Bureau hoisted the patient onto the helicopter and transported him to an area hospital for treatment.

No further information on the condition of either of the patients is available at this time.

By Sharon

City To Start Proactive Multifamily Property Inspection Pilot Program

January 25, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Wednesday, January 24, the city of West Hollywood indicated in a news release that the city’s Neighborhood and Business Safety (NBS) Division Code Enforcement team will start conducting proactive and systematic inspections of multifamily properties in the region beginning February 2024.

According to the city’s website, the NBS works to maintain neighborhood livability by being responsive to complaints and concerns received from the community. They are responsible for enforcing all provisions of the city’s laws and ordinances, as governed by the West Hollywood Municipal Code and it actively addresses community concerns about a variety of regulated issues.

The inspections will include low-income housing and inclusionary units within multifamily properties. Two Code Enforcement Officers will be assigned to this proactive pilot program and will perform outreach to property owners and tenants before inspections are completed. The pilot program will start on the eastside of the city and gradually move west across the community.

The goal of the pilot program is to inspect multifamily properties once every three years to ensure city rental housing properties are being maintained in compliance with West Hollywood Municipal Code standards. A multifamily property in West Hollywood is considered a building with three or more units.

Inspections will be initially focused on exterior property conditions (e.g., landscape, carports/parking areas, paint, fences/gates, roof, doors, etc.) and common areas of multifamily properties, such as hallways, courtyards, staircases, elevators, recreation rooms, etc. Code Enforcement Officers assigned to the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will also be checking for any potential vacation (short-term) rental activity being advertised at a property they are currently inspecting. Vacation (short-term) rental concerns that are reported to the City’s NBS Division outside of the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will continue to be responded to promptly.

Code Enforcement Officers will be posting flyers in the mailrooms and common areas of multifamily properties, informing tenants of the ability to voluntarily schedule inspections within the interior of their own units. Interior inspections of tenant units will only occur as part of this proactive pilot program if a tenant schedules an inspection directly with the Code Enforcement team assigned to multifamily inspections. Interior inspections of tenant units that are performed when a tenant reports an issue in their unit to the City’s NBS Division outside of the proactive multifamily inspection pilot program will continue to be responded to normally.

If a tenant voluntarily schedules an interior inspection of their unit as part of this proactive pilot program, assigned Code Enforcement Officers will check for habitability concerns such as plumbing leaks, lack of heat, lack of hot water, deteriorated electrical outlets, and missing or inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Code Enforcement Officers assigned to the proactive pilot program will be checking multifamily properties with five or more units or with 16 or more units for various requirements in compliance with the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The required RSO notices provide tenants with emergency numbers to contact, information about protections related to eviction, harassment, and rent limits, and business hours for onsite managers.

Tenants interested in getting their units inspected from the proactive multifamily inspection team, when the team is conducting inspections at their property as part of the pilot program can contact West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety (NBS) Division at (323) 450-7115 or at multifamilyinspections@weho.org. The NBS proactive multifamily inspection team will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding holidays.

For details about the city’s proactive multifamily inspection pilot program contact Eugene Alper, West Hollywood’s Code Enforcement Supervisor at (323) 848-6432 or at ealper@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

WeHo Receives Grant From SCAG For Expanding Affordable Housing

January 23, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, January 22, the city of West Hollywood announced on its website that they received a $150,000 funding award from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), which aims to support the city’s housing goals. Funding is part of SCAG’s allocation of $45 million in Lasting Affordability Program funding in support of 14 innovative housing finance projects across Southern California.

According to a news release from the city’s website, the grant received will be dedicated to a feasibility study for the development of a community land trust within WeHo. The City’s Long Range Planning Division will examine the creation of a community land trust to expand approaches for attaining affordable housing and affordable homeownership.

The expected outcome from forming such a community land trust includes progress toward meeting West Hollywood’s objective of creating 500 new affordable housing units by the year 2029.

The Lasting Affordability Program is one of the three funding areas in the Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH) program, which is part of SCAG’s REAP 2.0 Program Framework. REAP 2.0 is a statewide grant administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that focuses on reaching state housing goals and climate commitments. It makes $45 million available to support programmatic level investments in housing trust funds, community land trusts, and catalyst funds.

SCAG is the country’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and nearly 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to prepare for a livable and sustainable Southern California presently and in the future. For more details about SCAG’s regional efforts, visit www.scag.ca.gov.

For information about the project and Long-Range Planning in the region contact Francisco Contreras, West Hollywood’s Long-Range Planning Manager at (323) 848-6874 or at fcontreras@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Police Seek Assistance Identifying Robbery Victims

January 18, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Wednesday, January 17, investigators from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and West Hollywood Station sent out a news bulletin requesting assistance from the public in identifying possible victims of 41-year-old Arriaza Hardy. Hardy was arrested for two separate strong-armed robberies that occurred on January 12.

According to the LASD website, on January 12, at approximately 1:55 a.m., officers responded to a call in the 9000 block of Rangely Avenue in West Hollywood. The suspect removed her kitchen window. The victim screamed when she heard the suspect entering her home. The suspect entered the residence and began threatening the victim. The victim was able to escape the apartment without further harm.

On Friday, January 12, at approximately 12:01, police were called to the scene of an attempted burglary, also in the 9000 block of Rangely Avenue. The suspect followed the female victim to her apartment. The victim told police she was afraid he was trying to get into her apartment. A struggle ensued. The victim was able to break free from the suspect’s grasp and sought refuge in her neighbor’s apartment.

West Hollywood Station deputies located the suspect who was still in the second victim’s home. The suspect, then identified as Hardy Arriaza, was arrested in connection with both burglaries.

According to the LASD Inmate Locator, Arriaza is a Hispanic male approximately 143 lbs. He was arrested at 3:00 a.m. and booked into jail at West Hollywood Station at 4:30 a.m. His bail is set at $500,000.

On January 15, the suspect was assigned to Twin Towers Correctional Facility at 450 Bauchet Street. His court date is scheduled on January 31, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. at LAX Superior Court W31 located at 11701 La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this incident or similar incidents is encouraged to contact Detective Zeff at (310) 358-4033 or bgzeff@lasd.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477, or on-line at www.p3tips.com.

By Sharon

Input Wanted For Pedestrian, Bicycle Improvements Around Potential Metro Stations

January 11, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood announced on Tuesday, January 9 that Metro is studying the proposed Northern Extension of the Metro K Line, that could provide new rail connections to, from, and throughout the region, including up to three stations in the city.

According to a press release from the city of West Hollywood, they are complementing that effort by conducting a Rail Integration Study (RIS) to ensure all future rail service is carefully integrated into the region, while supporting sustainability goals and community expectations.

The current phase is looking to improve multimodal transportation and delivering safe routes to and from planned stations to maximize access, ridership, and use of future stations in West Hollywood.

A half-mile region was audited by West Hollywood near each potential station to examine pedestrian and wheeled access improvements.

West Hollywood audited a half-mile area around each potential station to explore potential pedestrian and wheeled access improvements. Input is being requested from the community via the Engage WeHo digital engagement tool to confirm the findings and to provide suggestions to the project team.

The project team will evaluate community feedback and suggestions to inform a draft first/last mile plan, which will be presented to West Hollywood advisory boards, commissions, and the West Hollywood City Council. They will transmit the approved plan to Metro and incorporate it into future updates to the City’s Capital Improvement Plan and other mobility planning documents that guide future infrastructure investments.

Residents, businesses, and frequent visitors are encouraged to share their feedback and suggestions on Engage WeHo to inform the plan’s development.  The survey is open and will remain open through Wednesday, February 7. Participants can provide input through an online form on any of the three stations proposed in West Hollywood as well as the Citywide bicycle network.

Interactive online maps are available for participants to place suggestions for improvements directly on online maps.

A specific number of stations have not been determined by Metro to serve the WeHo area. Pedestrian and bicycle improvements identified for any of the proposed station areas may be relevant regardless of the final route Metro selects as West Hollywood works to improve safety and mobility.

For more details about the survey go to engage.weho.org/metroFLM or contact David Fenn, Senior Planner, at (323) 848-6335 or dfenn@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Weekly Crime Report For LASD West Hollywood Station

January 10, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, January 9, West Hollywood Station of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) released their weekly crime report for January 1 through January 7.  Property crimes are on the rise in WEHO.

January 1 began with an aggravated assault with a gun that occurred in the 1000 block of Orlando Avenue. Police were called after a traffic collision resulted in an argument that turned violent. One man shot the other. The bullet grazed the head of the victim.

On January 1 there was a theft of property in the 9000 block of Cynthia Street. An unknown suspect gained entry to a secure parking garage and robbed a storage locker of two electric drills and four pairs of shoes.

Police were called to an armed robbery that occurred in the 8600 block of Santa Monica Blvd. A man was approached at an ATM by an armed man who held a gun to the victim demanding cash from the ATM. The victim gave the suspect the cash.

Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 3:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day, a backpack was stolen from the trunk of a car. Reports indicate that the trunk may not have been locked. There was no sign of forced entry. Credit cards were stolen out of the backpack and used to make fraudulent purchases.

On January 2, there was an attempted burglary in the 8600 block of Melrose Avenue. Reports indicate that the suspect tried to access the residence by prying the door open with a crowbar. The suspect did not gain entry.

A package delivered to an apartment in the 1000 of Palm Avenue sometime between January 2 and January 4 was reported stolen. The package contained a laptop computer. It was stolen from the hallway of an apartment complex where delivery personnel left it as a door-drop delivery.

On January 3, at 1:30 p.m. a man entered the Macy’s Store in the 7100 block of Santa Monica Blvd. The suspect took skin care products and perfumes. Police reported that the suspect left without payment and that this was considered a grand theft due to the dollar amount of items stolen.

Also on January 3, another package was stolen from an apartment complex. The suspect reportedly pried a locked door open and stole the package.

On January 4, at 1:35 a.m., a residential burglary occurred in the 800 block of Hilldale Avenue. An unknown suspect walked into the door of the home. The suspect left without further incident when he heard the homeowner.

On January 4, there was a vehicle theft in the 8900 block of Rosewood Avenue. The suspect reportedly broke the window of a vehicle parked alongside the street on Rosewood Avenue. Camera equipment and some clothing were stolen from the car.

No crimes were reported for January 5.

On January 6, police responded to a call of an assault after a man who was intoxicated was denied entry at the club in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. The suspect bit two of the employees denying him entry. The suspect fled the scene. Responding officers were able to locate the suspect and arrest him.

Two strong-arm robberies occurred on January 6. The first occurred in the vicinity of Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. A woman was walking alone on Santa Vincente Boulevard when a male perpetrator grabbed her from behind trying to take her fanny pack. The suspect drug her on the ground and took her fanny pack and another small satchel/purse. He fled the scene in a black sedan.

In the second case, two women were walking in the area of Westmount Drive and West Knoll when a man exited the passenger side of the vehicle and chased after the women. He tried to get the phone from the first individual and failed but was able to get the second woman’s phone from her.

On January 7, when a woman was reported chasing a man with a knife in the 100 block of Genesee Avenue. The woman was attempting to stab the man whom she reportedly knew. She could be heard saying that he, “cheated on her.” Police arrested the woman for aggravated assault.

On January 7, a suspect had her cell phone stolen from her front pocket on the dance floor at a club. 

On January 7, a woman had her phone stolen from her purse in the 600 block of Robertson Boulevard.

On January 7, a third victim had her cell phone stolen from her purse at the club.

According to a website called Neighborhood Scout, the crime rate for violent crimes in West Hollywood is 5.67 percent. The chances of being a victim of a violent crime in WEHO is 1 in 176 chances.

Neighborhood Scout reports a 36.61 percent crime rate for property crimes. The chances of becoming a victim of a property crime in WEHO is 1 in 27.

By Sharon








Community Asked To Participate In Developing WeHo Strategic Plan

January 10, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, January 8, the city of West Hollywood announced in a news release that they are asking community members to participate in developing the next West Hollywood Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan will be developed through a collaborative process that empowers community members to address issues, examine trends, assess capabilities, re-examine purpose, and recommit to the city’s mission and core values.

A community-centered and community-led outreach approach is being taken that includes developing an Action Team and Core Coalition and hosting multiple community visioning workshops, community focus groups, surveys, and more.

The Action Team will consist of West Hollywood community members that will focus on growing the project’s visibility, gathering input, and providing updates and information throughout the community. This group will represent a diversity of voices across the city and requires a nine-month commitment.

The Core Coalition will comprise community-based organizations and individuals that provide input on the strategic planning process through completion. The network of people and organizations will volunteer to facilitate outreach and engagement in order to empower the larger community’s priorities for the Strategic Plan.

Individuals can sign-up and learn more about the plan at https://engage.weho.org/wehostrategicplan and/or becoming a contributor to the Action Team or Core Coalition. People who are interested in participating can submit an Action Team or Core Coalition application at http://go.weho.org/communityvoices.

After the West Hollywood Strategic Plan is developed it will provide an inclusive and equitable roadmap for the city’s future and will build upon the successes of West Hollywood’s past strategic plans.

The strategic planning process will be facilitated by Gensler, Designing in Color, and FM3 in close consultation with City staff. For more than 30 years, the city has engaged in the collaborative development of strategic and community plans to shape forward-thinking policies and priorities.

For more details about the West Hollywood Strategic Plan contact Paolo Kespradit West Hollywood Management Analyst, at (323) 848-6460 or at pkespradit@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

2024 Winter Sounds Concert Series Returns In West Hollywood

January 10, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, January 8, the city of West Hollywood announced the 2024 Winter Sounds Free Indoor Concert Series will take place on select Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. between Saturday, January 27, and Saturday, February 24, at The Sun Rose performance venue at Pendry West Hollywood, located at 8430 Sunset Boulevard. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concerts start at 7 p.m. Arriving early is recommended.

The Concert Series will start January 27, with three-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Sara Gazarek. She has collaborated with jazz legends Fred Hersch, Billy Childs, Kurt Elling, and more, and has six critically acclaimed albums under her belt.

The next concert in the series will feature the gifted multi-instrumentalist Julius Rodriguez on Saturday, February 10; at 7 p.m. Julius Rodriguez combines his jazz training with his passion for R&B, gospel, and hip-hop. He grabbed audiences’ attention touring with A$AP Rocky, Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter, as well as by working on projects with Meshell Ndegeocello, Kassa Overall, Brasstracks, and others. In 2022, he released his solo debut for Verve Records “Let Sound Tell All.”

The Winter Sounds Concert Series finale is on February 24 at 7 p.m. and will feature keyboard maestro, vocalist, composer, producer, arranger, and astral traveler Brandon Coleman. A regular fixture with Babyface, Donald Glover, Flying Lotus, and Kamasi Washington, Coleman represents a new chapter in the evolution of jazz and funk fusion. After the release of “Resistance” in 2018, Coleman embarked on a 30-city tour supporting Flying Lotus.

West Hollywood’s 2024 Winter Sounds Free Indoor Concert Series is organized by the city’s Arts Division. Winter Sounds concerts are free and guests must be 21 years of age and older to attend. RSVP is recommended. RSVP does not guarantee admittance. Seating is first-come, first-served, limited to availability. Fifteen dollar validated valet parking at the Pendry is available for attendees. Street parking may be available, but attendees should visit local street signage. Rideshare is suggested. For additional details about the performers and to view the series visit www.weho.org/wintersounds.

For information about Winter Sounds contact Joy Tribble, West Hollywood’s Arts Specialist, at (323) 848-6360 or at jtribble@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Tree Topples In West Hollywood Injuring 3 People

January 8, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—At least three people were injured after a tree fell in West Hollywood on Sunday, January 7. The tree fell as a result of high winds at the Melrose Trading Post at 7850 Melrose Avenue CBS Los Angeles news reported.

Of the people injured two of them were workers, who were removed from the fallen branches, but sustained injuries and one was transported to a hospital for treatment.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reported on its Facebook page a message from StreetsLA about reporting tree emergencies that read:

“StreetsLA is responding to a high volume of tree emergencies due to high winds across the City. Please use @MyLA311 to report tree emergencies, including: tree down hanging limbs limbs down Stay Safe LA!”

The LAFD posted the following message:

“If a tree falls and causes a medical emergency or other escalating hazard, dial 9-1-1. If a tree falls and does NOT cause injury/fire/etc., please report it to #StreetsLA @bsslosangeles via 3-1-1 @MyLA311.”

By Trevor

West Hollywood Informs Landlords About LA County Rent Relief Program

January 6, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Thursday, January 4, the city of West Hollywood indicated in a news release that are alerting landlords about the Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program.

The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out about a recent announcement from Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) regarding the availability of $68,666,000 in grants to qualified landlords with property located within Los Angeles County, excluding the City of Los Angeles, through its Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program.

The City of West Hollywood is in Los Angeles County and this program will provide direct financial assistance to landlords to help them mitigate the detrimental economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that may result in tenants’ inability to stay current on rent.

Grant awards may be used to cover eligible expenses incurred from April 1, 2022 to present on a rolling basis. Eligible expenses include qualifying unpaid rental debt and any other substantiated related expenses, such as utilities.

While any eligible landlord can apply, those who meet specific criteria outlined on the County’s website will be prioritized.

For eligibility criteria, required documents, tips for applying, and instructions on how to complete and submit the application, please visit the LA County Rent Relief website at https://lacountyrentrelief.com.

The City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization Division provides resources, tools, and information for tenants and landlords in the City of West Hollywood. For more information, please contact the Rent Stabilization Division at (323) 848-6450 or at rsd@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Speeding Car Crashes Into Duplex In WEHO

January 5, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, January 2, at approximately 9:30 p.m. police responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Fountain and Detroit Avenues in WEHO. A black BMW traveling at a high rate of speed collided with another vehicle that had slowed to make a left turn. The BMW then drove through the front gate of some area apartments. The suspect then hit a retaining wall in front of a fountain and into one of the duplexes.

Reports indicate that at least one of the people in the crash was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. There were no other reported injuries from those residing within the complex, or nearby pedestrians.

According to a bystander, the person who lived in the home that was damaged in the crash had just moved in.

This traffic incident occurred one day before the new speeding limit in the area went into effect. According to officials, the speed limit in that area has since changed from 35 mph to 30 mph.

The names and possible charges of those involved in the accident have not been released as of the time of print.

By Sharon





WeHo Continues National Day Of Service For MLK Jr. Day

January 4, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood announced on Wednesday, January 3 that they will continue the tradition of joining hundreds of communities across the country in a National Day of Service to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day federal holiday.

On Saturday, January 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. West Hollywood urges community members to participate in the West Hollywood Elementary Beautification Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event, located at 970 N. Hammond Street. Residents, visitors, and community members are invited to take part in this Day of Service. Volunteers will perform various landscaping, clean-up, painting, and other beautifying tasks at the school.

Details are available on West Hollywood’s Community Engagement and Volunteer Opportunities at www.weho.org/volunteer and there is a link to a registration volunteer portal on that page. Volunteers are requested to register in advance and must be 13 years of age or older to participate. All registered volunteers will receive confirmation and check-in details.

For 2024, West Hollywood Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will include a two-week virtual donation drive to benefit the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative. It will run from Friday, January 12 through Wednesday, January 31. Visit www.weho.org/vounteer for details; donations can be made directly online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/homeless.

MLK Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1994. For more details about West Hollywood’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event, please contact Larissa Fooks, West Hollywood’s Community Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6413 or at lfooks@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Speed Limits Being Reduced On Several WeHo Roads

January 3, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release on Wednesday, January 3 that it is in the process of reducing the speed limits on N. Fairfax Avenue and on Fountain Avenue, west of Fairfax Avenue from 35 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour, after the results of a recently conducted Engineering and Traffic Survey (E&TS).

The city noted new speed limit signage will be installed, and new speed limits will be enforced starting in early 2024. Speed limits in California are governed by the California Vehicle Code (CVC), which states that an E&TS must justify the speed limit on all streets other than local streets if enforcement of the speed limit involves using radar or any other electronic device.

In West Hollywood, 24 street segments are not classified as local streets, and those streets require an E&TS to justify the posted speed limits. The city recently retained a traffic engineering consulting firm to prepare a 2023 survey. The State of California guidelines for setting new speed limits, revising existing speed limits, and/or maintaining existing speed limits include the following items: prevailing speeds as determined by traffic engineering measurements; collision records for the most recent two years; and roadway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent to the driver (i.e., pedestrian activities, bicycle routes, on-street parking, proximity of schools, land use adjacent to the roadway, etc.).

The survey results note that the posted speed limits for 22 of the 24 street segments that were evaluated will remain unchanged. The study indicates speed limit should be reduced on two street segments: N. Fairfax Avenue between the north and south city boundaries (at Fountain Avenue to the north and Willoughby Avenue to the south); and at Fountain Avenue between N. La Cienega Boulevard and N. Fairfax Avenue.

To comply with state law, the posted speed limits on these two street segments will be reduced by 5 miles per hour, from 35 mph to 30 mph. The findings were approved by the West Hollywood City Council in adopting a Resolution at its regular City Council meeting on October 16, 2023.

For more details contact Richard Garland, West Hollywood Principal Traffic Engineer, at (323) 848-6457 or at rgarland@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call the West Hollywood’s TTY line (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

West Hollywood IHOP Closing Its Doors

January 3, 2024 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The International House of Pancakes location in West Hollywood at 8461 Santa Monica Boulevard has officially closed its doors. The IHOP is permanently closing its doors and posted a message on its door that read: “Closing at 1pm New Year’s Day. Thank you.”

KTLA news reported that a voice message directed customers to the IHOP location in Hollywood located at 7006 Sunset Boulevard. The voice mail stated: “Dear valued customer. Apologies for any inconvenience. Our West Hollywood IHOP is closed.”

Other IHOP locations in the region include the Hollywood Hills location at 5655 Wilshire Boulevard and the establishment in North Hollywood at 6343 Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The Hollywood Hills location posts the following message on its website:

“As you make your way down Masselin Ave or Hauser Blvd, take a break and dine in at your local IHOP restaurant! Our menu is full of variety and ready for you any time of day. For breakfast lovers, we’ve got stacks of world-famous IHOP Pancakes and an array of delicious freshly made Omelettes, or you can dive into our newest breakfast items and try our tasty Eggs Benedicts or our Sweet and Savory Crepes.”

By Trevor

West Hollywood City Hall Closed New Year’s Day

December 27, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood indicated on its website that City Hall will be closed on Monday, January 1, 2024 in honor of New Year’s Day.

The following parking regulations will not be enforced on January 1, 2024.
-Parking Meters and associated time limits
-Peak Hour Towing Restrictions
-Street Sweeping

Permit Parking and all other parking regulations will be enforced The enforcement of all parking regulations will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

Visitor parking permits may be obtained at the Kings Road Parking garage.

By Trevor

Swear-In Of Mayor And Vice Mayor On January 16

December 20, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, December 19, the city of West Hollywood announced that during the City Council meeting on Monday, December 18, the next Mayor will be John M. Erickson and Vice Mayor will be Chelsea Lee Byers. A Resolution was approved to change the title of Mayor Pro Tempore to Vice Mayor. Since Cityhood in 1984, the organization of the West Hollywood City Council has been comprised of the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tempore, and Councilmembers. Adoption of the Resolution changes the Mayor Pro Tempore title to Vice Mayor as a local preference, moving forward.

Councilmembers serve for a term of four years and are elected at large. The City Councilmembers annually select members to serve as Mayor and Vice Mayor; these positions rotate among the Councilmembers.

Incoming Mayor Erickson and Incoming Vice Mayor Byers will be sworn-in at West Hollywood’s annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting and oath of office ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. A reception will immediately follow at the West Hollywood Library that is open and free to the public.

The meeting and ceremony will be live-broadcast and streamed as part of the regular WeHo City Council meeting and will be available by tuning into Channel 10 on Spectrum within West Hollywood, by visiting www.weho.org/wehotv, or by visiting the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. In addition, meetings can also be viewed on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku streaming platforms by searching “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services.

John M. Erickson, current Mayor Pro Tempore, was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 3, 2020. In 2010, Erickson was selected to intern for the West Hollywood City Council. After leaving City Hall, he served as a Legislative Representative at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and is currently the Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications, and Marketing at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

Erickson received his Ph.D. in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University and a Dual-Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies.

Chelsea Lee Byers, current Councilmember, was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 8, 2022. She became connected to West Hollywood through the Women’s Leadership Conference leading to program partnerships with West Hollywood, including Women Manifest (2016), the Cannabis Education Forum (2015-2018), collaborative film screenings, panels, and more. While working with United Way’s Everyone In campaign, Byers engaged with City Social Services and Strategic Initiatives to bring educational programming to the community on homelessness and housing solutions. She currently works as Director of Programs and Partnership with Women’s Voices Now and is a core team member with Beautiful Trouble.

Byers studied at Universidad Internacional Cuernavaca, Franklin University Switzerland and received her B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Northern Arizona University.

For more details, contact West Hollywood’s City Council Offices at (323) 848-6460. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

WeHo End-of-Year Trash And Recycling Information

December 18, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Thursday, December 14, the city of West Hollywood indicated details in a press release about end-of-year trash and recycling information.

West Hollywood’s solid waste hauler, Athens Services, will have no pickup of trash on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, or on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 204. Services will be provided one day later than the regularly scheduled pickup day. Christmas trees are 100 percent recyclable and can be collected starting Tuesday, December 26, 2023 through Friday, January 5, 2024.

To ensure the collection of your holiday tree: remove stands, ornaments, lights and tinsel; place holiday trees at the curb; trees over six feet in length must be cut in half; trees with flocking or fire retardants are acceptable; and please do not leave the tree in a plastic bag as the bag gets caught in the chipper blades. All gift boxes, wrapping paper and other paper packaging can be recycled with regular paper and cardboard recycling.

Residents are asked to take old electronics to a collection center such as the UCLA S.A.F.E. Drop-Off Center, or may schedule an e-waste pickup with Athens Services. For details visit West Hollywood’s website Trash and Recycling page: www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/public-works/environmental-services/trash-and-recycling.

Bulky or large items, such as refrigerators, carpet, and wood, can be picked up at no charge to residents, limited to one or two items. Contact Athens Services directly to find out details and arrange for a pickup.

Residents are asked to take old electronics to a collection center such as the UCLA S.A.F.E. Drop-Off Center, or may schedule an e-waste pickup with Athens Services. For details visit West Hollywood’s website Trash and Recycling page: www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/public-works/environmental-services/trash-and-recycling.

Bulky or large items, such as refrigerators, carpet, and wood, can be picked up at no charge to residents, limited to one or two items. Contact Athens Services directly to find out details and arrange for a pickup.

The city is asking resident to NOT place extra trash and recycling on the ground with bins or carts. They should contact Athens Services to schedule extra services to accommodate your extra trash and recycling.

For more details or to arrange for extra trash and recycling services call Athens Services’ Customer Service Office at (888) 336-6100. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call West Hollywood’s TTY line (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Christian Wood Wanted For Burglary And Arson

December 18, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On December 12, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) West Hollywood Division is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 37-year-old, Christian Wood in connection with mailroom burglaries and one case of arson.

According to the LASD Booking records from a prior arrest on July 7, 2022,  Wood stands 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and has blue eyes and light brown hair.  He weighed 175 lbs.

According to a LASD Wanted advertisement posted on X, “Wood has a no bail warrant from CDCR and is a Parolee At Large (PAL) who is a suspect in three separate mailroom burglaries and also stands accused of mailroom arson.

According to the LASD inmate locator, Christian Wood has at least one felony against him.

Anyone with information about Wood’s whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Zeff at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at 310-855-8850.

By Sharon

Iconic WEHO Restaurant Closes After 30 Years

December 18, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On December 15, Marcos Italian Restaurant located at 8200 Santa Monica Boulevard announced that they will be closing their doors for good after 30 years of service to the community.

Lasagna Bolognese

According to their website, the last chance to get in one last meal at one of WEHO’s most iconic restaurants will be on Christmas Eve. Whether you delighted in the turkey lasagna, lasagna Bolognese, pizza, or one of the exquisite desserts, there are only a couple weeks left to indulge yourself at one of WEHO’s favorite establishments.

The owner, Mark “Marco” Capanni posted the following statement on his website. He fittingly calls it, “The End of an Era,” citing operating costs as the main reason for the restaurants closing.

“Dear Loyal Customers,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the closing of Marco’s, our West Hollywood Italian food icon, on Sunday, December 24th. Since 1993, we’ve been privileged to serve our community with passion and love.

The decision to close is influenced by the challenges of staff shortages and the increase in costs associated with wages for our dedicated team, coupled with rising food costs and operational constraints. Despite our best efforts, sustaining our operations has become increasingly challenging.

We invite all our loyal patrons to join us for a final meal at Marco’s, where we can share memories, stories, and the flavors that have defined our culinary journey. Your support has been the heartbeat of our establishment, and we are grateful for the incredible memories created together.

As a token of our appreciation, we are delighted to offer a 25% discount on all entrées from now until closing on Christmas Eve. To redeem this offer, kindly mention ‘25% OFF’ to your server when placing your order. Please note that this promotion is valid for dine-in orders only and does NOT include Lunch Specials.

As we bid farewell, we extend our deepest gratitude for being an integral part of the Marco’s family. .

Warm regards,

Mark “Marco” Capanni”

By Sharon

Feedback Wanted About The Future Of Municipal Fiber Broadband Access

December 14, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood announced in a press release on Wednesday, December 13 that they have started development of a municipal fiber network. The initial phases of West Hollywood’s fiber network (fiber-optic internet) are now complete.

The city reported that with its Information Technology Division and a collaborative private-public partnership with Plenary Americas and Digital Ubiquity Capital, West Hollywood is exploring expansion of the city’s fiber network for a growth phase of connectivity. The goal is to provide community digital equity with affordable high-speed internet connectivity.

The city is asking for the community to participate in a survey to garner their feedback. Residents and business members are asked to participate in the survey, available in English, Spanish, and Russian. The survey is open now and will remain open through Wednesday, January 17, 2024. It will take approximately ten minutes to complete. As part of the survey, participants will be asked about connection speed using a speed test link.

Data collected will be used to explore broadband access options and will not be sold. To learn more and take part in the survey at go.weho.org/broadband or visit West Hollywood’s Municipal Fiber Network website page with links to the survey at www.weho.org/services/municipal-fiber-network.

In 2016, West Hollywood adopted the Fiber Network Infrastructure and Service Strategic Plan. The plan outlined the major benefits of having a fast and affordable broadband infrastructure, including improved internet service, equitable access, public safety, economic development, healthcare, and Smart City applications, and set forth a plan to develop a series of initiatives that leverage technology and improve quality of life for community members.

For additional details contact Eugene Tsipis, West Hollywood’s Information Technology Manager, at (323) 848-6399 or at etsipis@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

LASD Searching For Jack Basil Cooper

December 5, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s Missing Persons Unit investigators announced on Friday, December 1 that they are asking for the public’s help to locate Jack Basil Cooper, 23. Cooper, who is a White male, was last heard from on October 23, near the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Help is needed to locate Jack Basil Cooper who has been missing since October 2023.

He stands 5 feet and 9 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. He has straight brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and black hat. His family is concerned with his well-being and is asking for the public’s help.

Anyone with details about the incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500. For those wanting to remain anonymous call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

Free Weekend Trolley, The PickUp, Celebrates 10 Years

November 30, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city, West Hollywood City Council, and its Public Safety Commission are joining the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, local Fire Stations 7 and 8, and Block by Block Security Ambassadors to remind the public not to drink and drive as the upcoming holiday season arrives.

The PickUp, a free trolley service launched in 2013 is celebrating 10 years this year and a community reception will be held. The trolley runs along Santa Monica Boulevard on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on specific holidays.

The trolley carries people safely to and from bars, clubs, restaurants, and entertainment venues in and around West Hollywood’s Rainbow District, Center City and Eastside areas.

The reception will take place on Monday, December 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the motor court adjacent to West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. It is free and open to the public to attend and will happen before the regular meeting of the West Hollywood City Council, which will start at 6 p.m.

The PickUp provides more than 100,000 passenger trips each year and connects individuals to the places in the city they want to go. The PickUp reduces driving while intoxicated and eases parking and traffic congestion. Details for riding can be viewed at: www.wehopickup.com.

West Hollywood works year-round to raise awareness about safe driving, distractions, and pedestrian safety. The City’s Drive Mindfully campaign reminds community members to encourage safety in the community whether driving, bicycling, or walking. The City’s Imbibe Intelligently campaign promotes safety tips and messages regarding alcohol consumption and encourages responsibility as the city works to maintain safe establishments that are free from overconsumption of alcohol.

As the holiday season approaches, the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has issued the following safety tips:

-Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk — or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.

-If you will be drinking or using marijuana, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins – a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any alcohol or marijuana, not just the person who drank or smoked the least.

-If you have been drinking or using marijuana, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use a ride share service or public transportation, or call one of your local sober ride home programs.

-Be responsible. If someone you know is impaired, do not let that person get behind the wheel, and do not accept a ride with an impaired person.

-If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Community Impact Team (CIT) actively patrols bars, nightclubs, and hotels. Deputies are proactive in addressing impacts from entertainment establishments and special events. The Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) focuses on entertainment and alcohol-related law enforcement issues. Together, the Sheriff’s Station and the City’s Code Compliance Division work with the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to educate businesses and work collaboratively on alcohol-related issues.

For more details about The PickUp Celebrating 10 Years or about West Hollywood’s transit programs contact Douglas Bear Nguyen, West Hollywood Transportation Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6370 or at dnguyen@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Vahe Armen Charged With Pointing Gun At School Administrator

November 21, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—It was announced on Monday, November 20 by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office a suspect who pointed a gun at a school administrator at Larchmont Charter Elementary School was charged.

Vahe Armen, 32, was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon or by means likely to cause great bodily injury on a school employee and one count of weapons on a school grounds – grades K-12. In a separate incident on October 24, he is charged with one count of an assault on an elder and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. He faces special allegations on all counts.

Armen was scheduled to be arraigned in court on Monday in Department 30 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

On November 16, shortly after 8 a.m., Armen allegedly drove onto the Larchmont Charter Elementary School campus in the school drop-off area as students were arriving to school.

A school administrator, who was standing in front of the school, directing traffic and assisting students, allegedly saw Armen exit his vehicle from a distance and point what looked like an assault-style rifle at her.

The administrator began to usher the students into the school’s building when Armen allegedly got back into his vehicle and drove away. He was found on the 6800 block of Sunset Boulevard and arrested by deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies also allegedly located a weapon inside his vehicle.

Armen is being held on $5 million bail. If convicted as charged, Armen will face a maximum sentence of 7 years, 4 months in state prison. The case was investigated by the LASD.

By Trevor

WeHo Celebrates 34th Annual Toy And Food Drive

November 21, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are aligning to give back to those in need this holiday season. The 34th Annual West Hollywood Toy and Food Drive will be accepting monetary donations until Friday, December 15, with the goal of providing as many families as possible with toys and holiday gift cards.

The city of West Hollywood reported on its website that donations can be made online at www.weho.org/holidaydrive. New users have to create an account and click on the Donations tab to contribute; existing users may simply log in to start the donation process.

The cost to help one family is $95; up to 10 families can be helped with $950. New unwrapped toys are needed and gift cards in $25 denominations to retailers such as Pavilions, Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, or Target are wanted. Toy collection bins are available at the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center (2nd floor lobby), Plummer Park, West Hollywood City Hall, West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Hotels in West Hollywood that will have collection bins include: Andaz West Hollywood, The London West Hollywood, 1 Hotel, and Ramada Plaza West Hollywood, as well as the Chateau Marmont in LA on the Sunset Strip just outside of the city’s municipal border.

For more details, contact Hollywood Recreation Leaders Natalie Mignon at nmignon@weho.org or at (323) 848-6321 or Jennifer Baram at jbaram@weho.org or at (323) 848-6534. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Vandal Shatters Window At Yogurt Stop

November 16, 2023 ·

By Dominique M.

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On November 15, reports confirmed that the old Yogurt Stop storefront located at 8803 Santa Monica Blvd was vandalized. A witness first told WEHO Times that the vandal used a large wooden plantar left outside the building to shatter the storefront glass.

The Yogurt Stop was a trendy treat for West Hollywood during the peak of the frozen yogurt craze. Customers could help themselves to the client friendly yogurt machines carrying a multitude of flavors, with a variety of toppings available for the yogurt connoisseur’s individual taste.

After 15 years of service, the Yogurt Stop shuddered its doors for good. On October 1, the former store owners thanked the community on their Instagram page for over a decade of support.

“Thank you for 15 years of friendship and support. We love you so much and appreciate you. We would love to be of service to you for the next 15 years, but as we don’t own the land, we don’t have a say in the matter, we love you! Come by tomorrow to say hello — not goodbye. We are part of our wonderful community and will always be around. We love you and, again, couldn’t have done it without your love and support.”

Canyon News reached out to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, but did not hear back in time for print.

By Sharon

WeHo Promotes Safer Cycling With Mobility Pop-up

November 16, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On November 14, the city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release that they will be hosting a WeHo Mobility Pop-up event along Santa Monica Boulevard at Hilldale Avenue (Westbound) and at N. San Vicente Boulevard (Eastbound).

The city and the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition are teaming up to share information and opportunities for public input on mobility projects underway in the region while encouraging safe cycling by helping bicyclists light the way and be more visible during nighttime riding with free bike lights.

The WeHo Mobility Pop-up will take place on Monday, November 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bicycle lights will be given to individuals who have their bikes with them, on a first-come, first-served basis and supplies are limited.

Other complimentary giveaways will be available, along with information about several mobility projects underway in West Hollywood, and opportunities for public input. Projects represented will include the city’s ongoing Dockless Mobility and Autonomous Delivery Programs, City-operated transit services such as the West Hollywood Cityline and The PickUp, and new bikeways being designed concurrent with two related planning initiatives.

California Vehicle Code § 21201(d) requires that any individuals bicycle be equipped with a white light that is visible from a distance of 300 feet from the front and side of your bicycle if riding at night on a highway, sidewalk or bikeway. The white lamp can be attached to the bicycle rider, such as to a helmet, so long as it is still visible from 300 feet.

Bicycles must be equipped with the following lights: a red reflector or solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector on the rear of the bike that is visible from a distance of 500 feet when in front of headlights on a motor vehicle; a white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle that is visible from both the front and rear of the bicycle at a distance of 200 feet; a white or yellow reflector on each side of the bicycle on the forward portion of the bicycle and a white or red reflector on each side of the bicycle on the rear portion of the bicycle.

For more details about mobility projects in West Hollywood visit www.weho.org/mobility. For information about the WeHo Mobility Pop-up contact Bob Cheung, West Hollywood Senior Transportation Planner, at (323) 848-6346 or at bcheung@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

LASD Needs The Public’s Help To Locate Dale Edward Wallace

November 14, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit indicated on their Facebook page on Monday, November 13, that they need the public’s help to locate At-Risk Missing Person, Dale Edward Wallace. He is a 49-year-old white male last seen on Wednesday, August 16, in the city of West Hollywood.

Wallace stands 5 feet and 8 inches tall. He weighs 160 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair, beard and tattoo of an Irish star emblem on the back of his neck. His family is concerned for his well-being.

Anyone with details about this situation is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500.  Anyone who wants to provide information anonymously can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

Traffic Advisory For Roadwork In West Hollywood

November 8, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, November 7, the city of West Hollywood reported on its website that the city’s asphalt and concrete repair contractor will grind and overlay depressed and damaged areas within the roadway at various locations throughout the region.

At least one lane of traffic through work areas will remain open at all times. All local business and residences will be accessible during repairs.

Locations where work will occur include:

-9021 Harrat
-8947 Keith Ave.
-1020 San Vicente Blvd.
-8907 Dorrington Ave.
-Ashcroft at San Vicente Blvd.
-Rosewood Ave at Flores Ave.
-Clark, South of Beverly Blvd.
-7317 Romaine Ave.
-1201 N Formosa Ave.

For those with questions contact Brian Jackson, Street Maintenance Supervisor at bjackson@weho.org or call (323) 848-6879.

By Trevor

LASD Searching For Suspects Who Stole English Bulldog

November 7, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department are searching for the suspects involved in the armed robbery of a dog on Monday, November 6.

Deputies with the LASD indicated that at 11:38 p.m. a robbery occurred on the 1100 block of Olive Drive. Two suspects exited a newer model black Jeep compass, pointed a firearm at the victim, and robbed him of his English bulldog.

The two suspects entered the black Jeep Compass and fled the location at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was last seen traveling Northbound on Olive Drive towards Fountain Avenue.

There is no additional information available at this time.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Detective Bureau is handling the investigation. Anyone with details about this incident is asked to contact the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850.

For those wanting provide information anonymously, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

WeHo Celebrating November Eat + Drink Week

November 2, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city will be highlighting some of the best dining and cocktail options in Southern California by aligning with Visit West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the return of its celebrated Eat + Drink Week series, featuring special promotions and unique menus from the top dining venues starting in November.

Eat + Drink Week has been extended from a 7-day festival to a 10-day festival, starting Friday, November 3. All participating restaurants and bars are within the municipal boundaries of West Hollywood. The festival ends on Sunday, November 12.

“From the Sunset Strip to Santa Monica Boulevard and the Design District, West Hollywood is home to Michelin-rated hot spots, bars offering world-class mixology, and various other hidden gems around nearly every corner,” states a press release from the city of West Hollywood.

Due to the popularity of Eat + Drink Week, reservations are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome but are not guaranteed. To learn more and make reservations visit www.eatanddrinkweek.com.

During Eat + Drink Week, participating businesses will have specially curated menus, discounted prices, and/or unique culinary creations.

Highlights of Eat + Drink Week 2023 will include:

-Exclusive Menus: Participating restaurants will offer a wide range of cuisines to satisfy every palate and feature exclusive menus created just for Eat + Drink Week.

-Special Prices: Diners can enjoy special prices on signature dishes and multi-course meals, making it the perfect time to try out that restaurant on your “must try” list.

-Unique Offerings: Get ready to savor the unexpected! Some restaurants will unveil limited-time, one-of-a-kind dishes.

-Cocktail Creations: Mixologists will be crafting unique libations to complement your dining experience.

For more information visit www.eatanddrinkweek.com. For more details contact the West Hollywood’s Business Development Division at (323) 848-6856 or at business@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Hunt For Suspect Who Assaulted LASD Peace Officer

October 23, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department indicated on Thursday, October 19 at approximately at approximately 4:33 p.m., deputies attempted to stop a vehicle near Hilldale Avenue and Cynthia Street in West Hollywood. The vehicle tried to evade the responding deputies.

As the suspect vehicle drove past the deputies, the vehicle hit the open passenger door of a patrol vehicle, striking the deputy with the door, causing serious injury to the deputy. The suspected vehicle drove away at a high rate of speed and out of view.

The vehicle is described as a 2022 dark grey Dodge Challenger, with Nevada license plate #802-W31. The vehicle is missing its front license plate.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information as to the suspect’s vehicle is asked to contact Major Crimes Bureau, 562-946-7893, or if you would like to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477, or on-line at www.p3tips.com.

By Trevor

West Hollywood Celebrates Dine LA

October 13, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city is celebrating the best dining and cocktail options in Southern California with Dine LA which started on October 6 and runs through Friday, October 20.

Diners can enjoy plenty of options within the region of West Hollywood, including:

-B-Side Pizza at Hotel Ziggy, 8462 Sunset Boulevard

-Charcoal Sunset, 9000 Sunset Boulevard

-Connie and Ted’s, 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard

-Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro, 521 N. La Cienega Boulevard

-Granville West Hollywood, 8701 Beverly Boulevard

-Izakaya Tora, 8908 Santa Monica Boulevard

-Knoll at Le Parc Suite Hotel, 733 N. West Knoll Drive

-La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Boulevard

-LAVO Ristorante, 9201 Sunset Boulevard

-Pink Taco, 8225 Sunset Boulevard

-Queen Violet WeHo, 8543 Santa Monica Boulevard

-SUR Restaurant & Lounge, 606 N. Robertson Boulevard

-Tesse, 8500 Sunset Boulevard

-The Butcher’s Daughter, 8755 Melrose Avenue

-The Fitting Room at The Chamberlain, 1000 Westmount Drive

-Toku Unagi & Sushi, 1106 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Suite 201

-Tone at Montrose at Beverly Hills, 900 Hammond Street

-WeHo Bistro, 1040 N. La Cienega Boulevard

-Zinc Cafe & Market, 8607 Melrose Avenue

-Zinque, 8684 Melrose Avenue

Participating restaurants for Dine LA will offer specially priced prix fixed menus for brunch, lunch and/or dinner; no tickets or passes are required. A complete list of participating restaurants and their Dine LA menus are viewable at www.discoverlosangeles.com/dineLA. Prices and meal periods will vary by restaurant and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.

For more details contact West Hollywood’s Business Development Division at (323) 848-6856 or at Business@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnival October 31

October 13, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city’s Halloween Carnival will return to West Hollywood’s Rainbow District along Santa Monica Boulevard on October 31. There will be Halloween celebrations at West Hollywood’s one-of-a-kind bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, entertainment venues, and more on Halloween and during the preceding weekend.

West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnival is free to attend and open to the public and will transpire from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on a one-mile stretch of Historic Route 66 along Santa Monica Boulevard between N. Doheny Drive and N. La Cienega Boulevard. The event will feature a stage at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. San Vicente Boulevard with a live DJ set, food trucks, and thousands of wildly dressed people in Halloween costumes for a one-of-a-kind experience.

In a news release, the city of WeHo stated the event first launched in 1987 and West Hollywood is inviting Halloween Carnival-goers to get into the spirit and show-off costumes by uploading photos to social media sites with the hashtag #wehohalloween and don’t forget to tag @wehocity.

To ensure a safe Halloween Carnival for everyone, the city and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station remind attendees about important safety guidelines:

-No alcohol or public drinking will be allowed;

-No backpacks, camera cases, tote bags, etc. will be permitted (clear plastic bags will be allowed);

-No weapons, fireworks, or drones will be tolerated;

-Children and pets are strongly discouraged; and Halloween Carnival-goers remember, If You See Something, Say Something.

To support the City of West Hollywood’s bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, entertainment venues, and more in hosting small-scale Halloween celebrations with patrons, they approved a process for review and waiver of special event permit and encroachment permit fees, as well as waiver of basic Los Angeles County Fire Department site plan review fees, for businesses in West Hollywood that aim to host events from Friday, October 27 through Tuesday, October 31 in celebration of Halloween. Interested business may submit a Special Event Permit application by the deadline of Monday, October 16, 2023. For details contact the City’s Neighborhood and Business Safety Division at code@weho.org or by calling (323) 848-6437.

Halloween revelers are reminded not to drive under the influence; even one drink can impair safe driving and  recommends ride-sharing services and transit options. The PickUp, West Hollywood’s free weekend ride, runs on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to its regular service, The PickUp will run Special Service on Halloween (Tuesday, October 31) from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Details are available by visiting www.wehopickup.com. Details about modifications to Cityline Local and Cityline Commuter service will be posted at www.weho.org/halloween as soon as information is available. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) bus lines that connect to West Hollywood include 4, 10, 30/330, 105, 212/312, 217, and 218. More details regarding lines and route changes is available at www.metro.net.

The city will lift residential permit parking Citywide between 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 and 12 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1. West Hollywood Park facilities impacts/closures will occur as follows:

-West Hollywood Park will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 through 7 a.m. Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

-West Hollywood Park small and large dog parks and basketball courts will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, October  31, 2023 through 7 a.m. Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

-West Hollywood Park Five-Story Parking Structure will be closed all day on Tuesday, October 31, 2023; the structure will reopen on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at 7 a.m.

Street closures associated with Halloween Carnival are as follows:

-N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 12:01 a.m. on October 31, 2023 to no later than 7 a.m. on November 1, 2023.  All alleyways between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 12:01 a.m. on October 31, 2023 to no later than 7 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-Santa Monica Boulevard between N. Croft Avenue/ Holloway Drive and N. Doheny Drive from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-La Cienega Boulevard between Holloway Drive and Willoughby Avenue from 10 a.m. October 31, 2023 to 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Cynthia Street from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-N. Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-N. La Peer Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-N. Almont Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

-Sunset Boulevard eastbound and westbound turn lanes onto southbound La Cienega Boulevard from 10 a.m. on October 31, 2023 through 6 a.m. on November 1, 2023.

By Trevor

West Hollywood ‘Howl-O-Ween Pet Showcase’ Coming October 7

October 2, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division will host its first-ever Howl-O-Ween Pet Showcase on Saturday, October 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Great Lawn at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The city reported on its website Howl-O-Ween highlights will include a parade for pets and their guardians to walk side-by-side and showcase their spooky and funny costumes, and an opportunity to dress with mutt as a doggleganger. Pet guardians are encouraged to dress in costumes. Dogs are required to be on leash for the duration of the event. Entertainment at the event will include music, a pet-friendly bubble zone, pet trick/obstacle course, community groups, and treats.

The event is free to the public no RSVP is needed. Attendees are encouraged to carpool, rideshare, or walk, as barking lot parking at West Hollywood Park is limited.

For more details about West Hollywood’s Howl-O-Ween contact the City’s Recreation Services Division at (323) 848-6534 or at recreation@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Bronze Buddha Statue Stolen From Barakat Gallery

September 25, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On September 23, it was reported that a bronze Buddha statue from the Barakat Art Gallery was stolen. The establishment is located at 941 La Cienega Boulevard. Surveillance video from September 18 shows a box truck pulling up to the museum, and the 250 pound statue being hoisted into the back of the truck.

According to the Barakat Gallery website, the Buddha statue dates back to 1800 A.D. and 1900 A.D. and is on display in London at 31, Brook Street, Mayfair London, 58.4 Samcheong-ro, Jangno-gu in Seoul, Korea, 187 Hollywood Road Kelford Mansion, Sheung Wan in Hong Kong, China, 21 Wang Chuk Hang Road, Global Trade Square in Hong Kong China, and 941 North La Cienga Boulevard, in West Hollywood.

A search on the Los Angeles Police Department website references a similar statue stolen back in July 2023.

Canyon News contacted the LAPD for more information but did not hear back before print.

By Sharon

Neighborhood Conversations Held For Laurel House And Park Renovation

September 20, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city is inviting community members to attend the fourth and fifth Neighborhood Conversations regarding the renovation of Laurel House and Park. The renovation will be led by the architecture consultant team from Page & Turnbull in partnership with consultants Kimberli Meyer and Sara Daleiden, who are guiding the development of the Artist Residency Program for the cultural resource.

According to a news release from the city of West Hollywood, the meetings will offer a preview of initial designs and provide feedback on the architectural plan development for Laurel House and Park Artist Residency Program.

On Tuesday, September 26 there will be an in-person Neighborhood Conversation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in Rooms 5 and 6. Drop-in, no RSVP is necessary. On Wednesday, September 27, there will be a virtual session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. via Zoom. Register in advance for this virtual meeting using the Zoom platform.

Laurel House and Park located at 1343 N. Laurel Avenue, which is city-owned real property consists of a 30,000-square-foot lot, a 7,177-square-foot former single-family dwelling, and an unattached accessory structure that is approximately 2,379 square feet and consists of a chauffer’s cottage and garages. Original portions of the structures were built in 1917. The conversion of the original single-family residence into four apartment units and the four-car garage addition were completed in 1941. The property was designated as a Local Cultural Resource by West Hollywood in 1994.

The West Hollywood City Council in 2010 directed staff to develop plans for open grounds as open space for temporary public use. During 2013-2014, West Hollywood conducted a visioning process of the property. Members of the community gave support for various uses.

In 2018, the West Hollywood City Council received a report forwarded by the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission with a focus on Artist-in-Residence programs, including potential use of 1343 N. Laurel Avenue as a potential Artist-in-Residence site. The recommendation was forwarded to the Council Subcommittee for additional review. In October 2022, in a feasibility study update, the West Hollywood City Council confirmed the site should be used for arts and culture programs and it directed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a qualified architectural design firm to continue the programming and design process. Page & Turnbull was awarded the architectural contract to start design development for the project.

For additional details contact Alicen Bartle, West Hollywood Project Development Administrator, at (323) 848-6323 or at abartle@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Residents, Stakeholders Asked To Partake In Future Metro Rail Service

September 19, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city is spreading the word that Metro will be hosting meetings on September 19 and September 26 to provide an update to the community about the environmental study underway to bring future Metro rail service to West Hollywood.

The meetings are for residents and stakeholders to provide feedback to Metro about what members find important and routes preferred for the Northern Extension of the Metro K Line (formerly known as the Crenshaw/LAX Line).

The city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release that Metro will select a final route for the project with community input. Depending on the chosen route, the city will be served by a single station on the City’s eastern municipal border or could be served by as many as four underground rail stations located in West Hollywood.

On Tuesday, September 19 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Metro will host a virtual webinar on Zoom, which will consist of a presentation followed by a Q&A session. Participants can join at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87336933668.

On Tuesday, September 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Metro will host an in-person meeting at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center’s Doheny Room, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, next to the West Hollywood Library. The meeting will provide an opportunity for attendees to get the latest information about the project and provide feedback to the Metro team about what destinations, route alternatives, and design considerations should be served by future rail service.

For individuals not able to attend, Metro will accept feedback by email and on its project hotline. Emails can be sent to klinenorth@metro.net or contact (213) 418-3093. For more details about the project, to sign up for project updates, or to submit feedback, visit www.weho.org/metro.

To learn more about the Metro K Line Northern Extension project visit https://www.metro.net/projects/kline-northern-extension.

Metro is in the process of completing an environmental study to examine the possible impacts of the future rail project and to inform its decision as it prepares to select the final route for rail between Mid-City Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Hollywood. During its September meetings, Metro will provide an update on work since the last community meetings in June 2022.

Of the three routes under consideration (La Brea, Fairfax, and the Fairfax-San Vicente Hybrid), West Hollywood supports the Fairfax-San Vicente Hybrid alignment, which would serve more residents and businesses as well as more key regional destinations, healthcare and cultural resources, and job centers in nearby areas of Los Angeles.

Metro will solicit additional public feedback on the project one final time to inform its work on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which is expected to be released in early 2024. Once the current environmental study process is complete, the Metro Board will determine on a final project definition and route known as a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

For approximately six years, West Hollywood has been working with West Hollywood Advocates for Metro Rail (WHAM), the All on Board Coalition, and Los Angeles to build support for Metro’s K Line Northern Extension project. For additional information visit www.weho.org/metro.

By Trevor

FTC Temorarily Shuts Down Onyx And Empire Distributions

September 12, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On August 22, the Federal Trade Commission announced the temporary shutdown of an investment for profit, a business scheme that reportedly lured consumers to invest upwards of $22 million in online stores, using unfounded claims about income and profits.

The operators: Roman Cresto, John Cresto, and Andrew Chapman claim to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure success and profitability for consumers who invested with the Automators.

“In addition to offering consumers high return as ‘passive investors’ in profitable e-stores, Automators, which previously used the names Empire and Onyx Distribution, also offered to teach consumers how to successfully set up and manage e-stores themselves using a ‘proven system’ and the powers of artificial intelligence,” the FTC stated.

According to their website, Onyx and Empire Distribution centers had multiple locations throughout southern California. The complaint indicates the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, and the Consumer Review Fairness Act and requested that the court permanently shut down the company’s operations.

The Commission voted 3-0 authorizing the staff to file the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The court entered a temporary restraining order against the defendants on August 11, 2023.

“The defendants preyed on consumers looking to provide their families with promises of high returns and the use of AI to power such returns. Their lies caused consumers to lose tens of thousands of dollars, with many losing their life savings. The FTC is working to hold defendants accountable and to secure redress for their victims,” said Samuel Levin, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC warned the public about using companies that use this money-bilking scheme indicating if the seller is a legitimate company, they should be able to provide the consumer with the following information from the FTC Consumer Advice section of their website.

A copy of the disclosure document is legally required of them which should include, the identity of the seller, information on any lawsuits against the seller, terms, conditions, and availability of a cancellation policy, a list of references, and if the seller indicated profits earned from their business practices, they should be able to provide the consumer with an Earnings Claim Statement.

This is not the first complaint filed against Cresto. According to the Court Listener, on December 8, 2022, he was accused of fraud by Daniel Cohen of LLC Enterprises LLC. It appears the case may accrue some fines and was withdrawn. By September 1, 2023, the hearings were withdrawn.

By Sharon

Public Input Wanted For Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

September 11, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release on Thursday, September 7 that the Community Safety Department is working on next steps to update the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and making it available on the city’s website to collect feedback. The draft Plan will be posted online from Thursday, September 7 thru Monday, September 25. Community members can provide feedback at: https://go.weho.org/hazardplan.

Local Hazard Mitigation Plans are aimed to serve as guides for communities to reduce adverse impacts from natural and human-caused hazards. West Hollywood’s updated Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will provide a roadmap that identifies hazards affecting the community and outlines actions that can be taken to limit negative impacts on residents, businesses, and the community. Local Hazard Mitigation Plans will provide an opportunity to access funding for specified actions to mitigate identified hazards.

Community outreach on updating the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan started in Spring 2023. Hazards included in the update involved wildfire, earthquake, extreme heat and rainfall, flooding, high winds, drought, terrorism, and hazardous materials incidents. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan must be updated every five years and reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

West Hollywood’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan has been revised from earlier versions, with specific attention given to FEMA’s recent guidance from April 2023 requiring a sharper focus on climate impacts and equity. The Plan will allow West Hollywood to further champion the actions needed to meet the global and local challenges of hazardous materials and reaffirm the region as “vibrant, sustainable, and resilient leadership city for current and future generations.”

For more details about the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan contact Margarita Kustanovich, West Hollywood’s Emergency Management Coordinator, by phone at (323) 848-6414 or by email at safety@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

West Hollywood To Start Annual Tree Pruning

September 7, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood will begin its annual tree pruning on Monday, September 11 and will continue through February 2024. The city of West Hollywood indicated on its website there are more than 12,500 trees in the region that need maintenance and care.

West Coast Arborists is the contractor for the city and the pruning will start along Sunset Boulevard and not disrupt westbound lanes until after 10 a.m. to minimize the impact on morning commute traffic. In the coming weeks, crews will move to other commercial areas on Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Boulevard, and other arterial streets.

After commercial tree trimming ends, work will start on residential arterial streets. Each day, trimming will start at 8 a.m. and finish by 3 p.m.

West Hollywood will alert residents, businesses, and motorists in advance of pruning work, using several methods:

-“No parking” signs will be placed a minimum of 24 hours in advance of work. The signs will reflect scheduled trimming activities for each day, and they will be broken down into two time segments: before 12 p.m. and after 12 p.m. Parking spaces will be reopened as soon as possible after work is completed.

-Door hangers or postings on trees will be placed a minimum of 72 hours in advance of residential tree-trimming activities.

-Electronic message boards may be placed at strategic locations several days before trimming, as well as during trimming activities, in order to provide commuters with advance notice so they can plan route changes; and

-Notification of trimming activity will be posted on the City’s website and on the City’s social media pages @WeHoCity.

For details contact Sam Estrada, West Hollywood’s Urban Forest and Landscape Maintenance Supervisor, at (323) 848-6867 or at sestrada@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

WeHo Residents Experience Sixth Burglary Incident

August 30, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Sunday, August 27, at approximately 9:15 p.m., residents of WeHo Heights reported people trespassing on their property. In a letter published on Wehoville, one of the members of the neighborhood association gave details on the incident.

Elyse Eisenberg, Chair, WeHo Heights NA, indicated four young men with knapsacks on the front and back of them were caught on surveillance cameras coming up the stairs. The noise was enough to stir the neighbors, who scared them off before the police arrived.

According to the letter this is the sixth incident in the last two months in just the Horn Plaza area. Eisenberg was requesting patrol in the area.

According to the CrimeMapping site for the area, the following crimes have taken place nearby the the WEHO Sheriff’s Department: 

On August 26, at approximately 12:30 a.m. an aggravated assault took place in the 6000 block of Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.

On August 23, at 10:00 p.m. a burglary (entry of structure w/intent to commit theft or a felony) INCLUDES VESSELS, LASD reported.

On August 22, a strong arm robbery took place in the 600 block of Robertson Blvd.

In addition to the three crimes listed above there were two other petty theft crimes reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as well. They were listed as Department Store Thefts.

By Sharon

Rainbow Bar And Grill Sued By Female Patrons

August 29, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Two women are suing the Rainbow Bar located in West Hollywood claiming they were sexually abused by adult film star Ron Jeremy back in 2017.

The lawsuit claims that the famous Sunset Strip restaurant allowed Jeremy inside and would allegedly “facilitate Ron Jeremy drugging women’s drinks.” The two victims only identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 allege that the negligent actions of the defendant “caused the injuries and damages including being sexually assaulted by Ron Jeremy.” Jeremy is not named as a defendant in this lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the Rainbow Bar and Grill’s Yelp page has more than 1,000 customer reviews which include more than 50 that mention Jeremy as a regular. Some of the reviews have multiple photos of Jeremy with other patrons.

The suit claims that the Rainbow Bar and Grill employees would give permission and would knowingly allow Ron Jeremy, a known sexual predator, to use the employees’ restroom to sexually assault female patrons. The company has allegedly allowed the defendant his own dungeon where he would commit heinous sexual acts against female patrons.

“The Rainbow Bar intentionally created a dangerous, sexualized, and hostile environment for its female patrons.”

The plaintiffs claim that within 10 minutes of their arrival at the Rainbow Bar & Grill back on March 17, 2017, Jeremy targeted the women by offering them drinks, talking to the pair and attempting to make out with them. The two women refused Jeremy’s advances and he later approached Jane Doe 1 and told her, “Let me show you something cool.” He then proceeded to inappropriately touch her without her consent, according to the suit.

Jeremy who is currently a resident in a state-run mental health facility, is facing other rape and sexual assault charges involving 21 alleged victims dating back to 1996, after an August 2021 indictment. Criminal proceedings were suspended in March 2022 after his attorney questioned his mental competency.

By Christianne

Nick Maricich Named New Community Development Director

August 21, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city announced the selection of new Community Development Director Nick Maricich on August 17. He will begin working with the city of West Hollywood on Monday, September 18.

The city indicated in a news release that Maricich joins the city after more than 16 years of service to furthering successful urban planning in Los Angeles. He served as Principal City Planner overseeing functions of the Citywide Policy Planning Division at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. He also served five years as the Director of Planning Policy and Development for former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Nick’s dedication and innovative approach to community planning and historic preservation during his time at the City of Los Angeles are commendable. His leadership and insights will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the City of West Hollywood and our community,” said West Hollywood City Manager David Wilson. “His unique perspective and proven track record will undoubtedly contribute to our ongoing efforts to create a vibrant and sustainable urban environment for our residents and our city will continue to advance its forward-thinking planning work.”

West Hollywood will schedule a series of Town Hall meetings in September to introduce Nick Maricich to the public, along with speaking with and hearing from community members as the goals and vision of the Community Development Department are advanced under the direction of the new Director.

The city’s Community Development Department (which for several years had been called Planning & Development Services Department) is responsible for managing West Hollywood’s urban environment and creating a livable community that balances the needs of residents, businesses, property owners and visitors.

There are three divisions within the City’s Community Development Department that assist in creating and implementing the community’s vision:

-Current and Historic Preservation Planning;

-Long Range Planning; and

-Building and Safety.

Maricich earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography with a minor in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The City’s Community Development Department serves as a leader in coordinating and focusing multi-departmental work efforts to address the wide number of planning and development concerns in WeHo. For additional details about the Community Development Department  visit www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/community-development-department.

By Trevor

DUI Checkpoint Will Be Conducted In Undisclosed Area

August 17, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced that they will be conducting a DUI checkpoint in West Hollywood on Friday, August 18. The location where the checkpoint will be established is undisclosed and will be conducted between 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The department indicated that DUI checkpoint locations are determined based on data that shows frequent incidents of impaired driving-related crashes.

According to LACSD, the purpose of the announcement is to raise public awareness about the hazards of driving while intoxicated and to encourage sober, designated drivers in addition to removing those driving under the influence off the road to ensure the safety of other drivers and pedestrians alike.

On July 22, LACSD conducted a DUI checkpoint which resulted in the arrests of two adults on suspicion of driving under the influence. A total of 1,380 drivers came through the checkpoint and 948 were screened. 9 drivers were cited and released for other violations, including driving with a suspended or revoked license.

LACSD warns the public that impaired driving is not just induced by alcohol. Some prescription medications as well as over-the-counter-drugs can affect one’s ability to drive safely. Even though both medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in the State of California, driving while under the influence of marijuana is also a crime.

First-time offenders found to be under the influence can result in an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties and can result in a suspended license.

This program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Back in 2019, musician Noah Benardout, 24, was killed by a vehicle following a collision caused by a drunk driver who was identified as Jacob D. Gralitzer. He was attending a Viacom employee premiere party for the now-cancelled Comedy Central late night talk show Lights Out with David Spade. Gralitzer became intoxicated and then proceeded to get inside of a vehicle and drove through the streets of West Hollywood at high speeds. His car hit Benardout and he sustained blunt force trauma to his head. Benardout died as a result of the injury.

The West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has the following safety tips:

  • Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk — or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or call one of your local sober ride home programs.
    Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

By Christianne

WEHO Wrapstar Restaurant Closes Its Doors

August 17, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On August 13, management from the Wrapstar restaurants announced that they are closing the doors of their WEHO store located at 8593 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Photo Via Unsplash

The following message may be found on the doors of the former Wrapstar, West Hollywood location and on their website. “Dear Wrapstar Customers, We regret to inform you that we are closing this location due to low traffic and higher operating costs in the area. We are so appreciative of everyone’s support and the amazing review we have received from you. We invite you to visit us online @ wrapstarla.com and at our other locations: 9533 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 9426 Washington Blvd. Culver City CA 90232 [Both the Beverly Hills and the Culver City locations are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.] With Gratitude, The Wrapstar Family The restaurant advertises that they have “reinvented the salad.” A full menu featuring both vegetable and flour tortillas with a large variety of meat and or vegetable fillings is available. Canyon News did reach out to Wrapstar management for more information but did not hear back in time for print. By Sharon

Ken Todd, Lisa Vanderpump Sued By Former Landlord

August 16, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Ken Todd, who is reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump’s husband, was served legal papers on August 10th, at 8:33 p.m., from his former landlord for alleged unpaid rent on the couple’s now defunct restaurant PUMP in West Hollywood.

Earlier this month the landlord’s company, 8948 Santa Monica Partners, sued PUMP LLC and Todd seeking close to $1 million dollars for breach of rental contract among other allegations. The tenants agreed to pay $32,000 per month in rent back in 2013 which was later increased to $42,500 in 2020.

The landlords are suing for $150,000 in absconding the liquor license, $50,000 of stolen fixtures, $250,000 of unpaid rent, $950,000 in damages, an additional $750,000 in damages for breach of contract, and $200,000 for not transferring over the liquor license with an estimated fair market value of $150,000.

According to reports, Todd’s former landlord hired a process server to track him down and served the paperwork at the couple’s Villa Rose estate in Beverly Hills. The estate is said to be worth $12 million.

The court documents reveal that Todd was supposed to turn the liquor license over to the new renter but refused to after surrendering the property on July 13th. After the couple relinquished the property, a new restaurant was established, and Todd allegedly withheld the liquor license preventing the new business from opening. This cost the landlords approximately $56,500 of base rent and other charges.

Todd denies allegations of any wrongdoing, but the property owners claim that his promissory fraud was willful, malicious and made in bad faith with reckless disregard for the wrongful and tortious nature when he entered into the lease contract.

In an interview with Page Six, Todd stated that the aggressive behavior by the landlord will not be tolerated and added that they showed no forgiveness during the entire term of Covid.

Back in May, a month before PUMP closed down, Vanderpump claimed that the rent had reached an untenable amount. The property owners deny Vanderpump’s claim telling Page Six, “We did not raise the rent and in fact have been nothing but supportive as they tried to catch up on lease obligations including forgiving some rent during Covid.”

On August 9th, the couple announced that they had plans to countersue 8948 Santa Monica Partners for damages. In a statement Todd claimed, “When we took over the place known as Pump 10 years ago, it was an empty car park. There were no trees. We installed beautiful olive trees, and they belong to us. We did not take the trees; they are still there. We did not rip the chandeliers out like the landlord is claiming. We lovingly took the antiques out, which are now in our possession as they are also ours. You don’t normally find antique chandeliers hanging in a car park. The liquor license we have traded under for the last 10 years also belongs to us. We are happy to sell it to them at the fair market value.”

“As a result of the landlord’s actions, we will be filing a cross-complaint seeking compensatory and punitive damages for their conduct.”

By Christianne

LASD Searching For Joseph Brockington III

August 15, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit posted on their Facebook page they are asking for the public’s help in locating Joseph Brockington III, 21. Authorities have described Brockington as a Black male, who was last seen on the 1100 block of Formosa Avenue on June 18 at 3:04 p.m. in West Hollywood.

He stands 5 foot and 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has brown eyes and braided black hair. His family is concerned about his well-being.

Anyone with details about the whereabouts of Joseph Brockington III is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500.

To remain anonymous contact “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

Man Charged With Raping Several Unconscious Women

August 14, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Andrey Thanh Nguyen, 37, was arrested on Wednesday, August 9th, for suspicion of drugging and raping several women in West Hollywood and Los Angeles, between the years of 2021 through 2023. The victims were all between the ages of 18 and 21 at the time of the crime. Investigators are encouraging any other victims to come forward to help in this case.

The alleged perpetrator, who also goes by “Cosmo” was arrested in East Los Angeles, and formally charged on Friday, August 11th by the Los Angeles County District office. The day before he pled not guilty to all charges which included seven counts of rape by use of drugs, three counts of sexual penetration by anesthesia or a controlled substance, and one count of sexual battery. He also faces drug-related charges and one count of sexual battery.

“The violence and trauma that the five survivors in this case endured is abhorrent and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Gascón said. “My office is committed to working tirelessly to prevent sexual assault, support survivors, and hold abusers accountable. We encourage any additional victims of Andrey Thanh Nguyen to come forward.”

Authorities asked anyone with information about the case or any other alleged additional victims to contact the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at 562-946-7960 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org, or to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Survivors in need can contact the District Attorney’s Bureau of Victim Services at 1-800-380-3811.

By Christianne

Security Ambassadors In Uniform Caught Flirting With Two Women

August 9, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Security Ambassadors are facing scrutiny for being caught engaging in intimate behavior with two women while in uniform as first reported by WeHo Times on Saturday, August 5.

The video was first submitted to WeHo times by what was described as a concerned West Hollywood citizen. Video footage shows two security ambassadors kissing and flirting with two women next to Circus of Books on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Jolla Avenue just before 1 a.m.

In one portion of the video one of the ambassadors appears to barely have his shirt on.

Block by Block, the company that staffs the security guards and is investigating the matter, issued a statement that read:

“We take matters such as this very seriously. Block by Block ambassadors are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times… This incident is being investigated by our management team and will be addressed according to our company policy.”

Block by Block Security Ambassadors are unarmed and help provide safe passage to residents at night. There are identified by their blue uniforms and act as watchdogs for law enforcement.

West Hollywood residents have shown mixed feelings about the incident. “Probably drunk girls being taken advantage of. The usual.” Peter Blunt wrote on X formerly known as Twitter.

“Typical, our tax dollars hard at work, just not the work we need,” wrote someone by the name of Rob.

Louis D Jacobs wrote on Facebook, “Ambassadors are worthless just like the WeHo politicians that defunded the police and got rid of 2 sheriffs. What did you expect from unarmed bicycle riders?”

Others responded with, “If it’s just a girl saying hi to her boyfriend, who cares. Context needed.”

“This is the only form of corruption I approve of,” said another.

By Christianne

Attempted Murder Suspects Wanted By LAPD

August 7, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division are asking for the public’s assistance to locate an attempted murder suspect they announced on August 4. The LAPD reported that on April 16, 2022, at 2:35 a.m., a victim was followed from Hyde Sunset nightclub to their vehicle located on the 8200 block of Sunset Boulevard.

The victim was approached by two suspects armed with firearms, while by his vehicle. The suspect fired a gunshot hitting the victim during the attempted robbery. No property was taken from the victim during the incident. Both suspects got in a 2004-2012 BMW 3-Series sedan, black or dark colored, before fleeing the scene. The vehicle has 5-spoke wheels, no front license plate and possible damage or malfunction to the passenger side taillight.

A $50,000 reward is being offered leading to the identity, arrest and prosecution of the individuals involved in the incident. The suspects have been described as two Black males. No details on age or descriptions of clothing have been disclosed to the public.

Anyone with details is asked to call the LAPD RHD, Detective Dupree or Detective Casalicchio at 213-486-6890. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Those wanting to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip.

By Trevor

LASD Seeks Public’s Help In Robbery Case

August 3, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s help to find three suspects who robbed a pedestrian at gunpoint.

On Wednesday, July 19, at 12:38 a.m., the victim was walking on a sidewalk along the 800 block of Larrabee Street when a group of people in a black SUV stopped right in front of him. The three suspects exited the vehicle armed with handguns and a rifle.

They pushed the victim against a fence and pulled him to the ground pointing the guns to his chest. The victim’s cell phone and wallet were taken. He didn’t appear to fight back.

After the assailants left the scene, the victim got up and walked away. It is unknown if the victim sustained any injuries.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?ref=embed_video&v=201362375950971

According to surveillance video that was published on LASD’s Facebook, two of the three suspects concealed their faces with hoodies while one was unmasked. On the night of the incident the unmasked suspect was wearing a sweatshirt with a logo that read “cookies.” He appears to have shoulder-length dark hair that was tied into a ponytail and has a light goatee.

Any information or similar incidents, please contact West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station – Detective Candice Gonzales (310) 358-4011 or e-mail: c2mgonza@lasd.org

By Christianne

WeHo Increases Outreach For ‘Good Neighbor’ Policies

August 2, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety Division’s Code Enforcement team which aims to maintain neighborhood livability by being responsive to complaints and concerns received from the community is spreading the word on ‘Good Neighbor’ policies. The team is responsible for enforcing all provisions of the city’s laws and ordinances, as governed by the West Hollywood Municipal Code, and it actively addresses community concerns about a variety of regulated issues.

The city indicated in a news release that as a result of an increase in community concerns, West Hollywood is alerting residents and property owners to inform them that:

Leaf-Blowers — The use of gas-powered leaf-blowers by residents or gardeners is prohibited; electric or battery-operated leaf-blowers are the only leaf-blowers permitted in the City of West Hollywood. Violations found by Code Enforcement Officers will result in the issuance of citations ranging from $100 to $500, with a $75 administrative fee applied.

Trash and Recycling Bins — Leaving trash and recycling bins next to the curb indefinitely is prohibited. Bins may only be placed at the curb after 5:30 p.m. the day before collection; they must be at the curb by 6 a.m. on collection day and removed by 8 p.m. on collection day. Violations may result in a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000, with a $75 administrative fee applied.

Overgrown Parkways/Hedges — Vegetation that is not cut back and extends into the sidewalk or street areas causes an obstruction for pedestrians and vehicles. More importantly, this prevents and/or hinders pedestrians and people who use a wheelchair or a walker from properly accessing sidewalk areas. Allowing vegetation to protrude into sidewalks and streets is a violation and may result in a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000, with a $75 administrative fee applied.

Bulky Items — For large items that need to be picked up, call Athens Services at 1-888-336-6100. You can also email your request (including the item to be picked up, address, contact information, etc.). Make sure to place your item on the curb on your regular trash day after scheduling pickup. Athens also has an online Bulky Item form, available at https://athensservices.com/bulky-item-pickup/.

The City’s Code Enforcement team actively addresses a range of residential neighborhood concerns that include: noise; property maintenance; vacant properties; construction; zoning (short-term rentals and land use activities); and impediments in the public right-of-way (sidewalk, parkway, alley, or street). Community members with concerns can contact West Hollywood’s Code Enforcement team by submitting a Service Request, which is a first step in investigating potential violations of the Municipal Code.

Service requests may can be submitted at www.weho.org/servicerequest or by using the West Hollywood Official App, which may be downloaded on an Apple device from the iOS App Store or as an Android App on Google Play; search for “West Hollywood Official App.”

Complaints or questions can be submitted through the Code Enforcement hotline at (323) 848-6516 or email at code@weho.org. When reporting a complaint individuals are asked to include the address, the day of the week, and the approximate time when the use of a gas leaf blower was observed.

By Trevor

West Hollywood Hosting OutLoud Sports Festival Dodgeball Tournament

August 2, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city will host the OutLoud Sports Festival Dodgeball Tournament as part of a two-day sports festival during the Labor Day Weekend which includes multiple sports locations throughout Southern California.

West Hollywood indicated in a news release the event is to take place Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. The Dodgeball Tournament is free for all; interested participants can register via the League Apps website at OutLoud Sports Festival 2023: Dodgeball Tournament, Recreation Division : OutLoud Sports: Tournaments (leagueapps.com).

Day one of the Dodgeball Tournament, on September 2 will consist of seven 12-minute matches to determine seeding. Day two, on September 3, will be a single-elimination tournament concluding with the Championship Match. Teams can consist of a maximum of 13 players with 10 players playing on the court per team. Registration is open to anyone over the age of 21 through August, 21, by visiting OutLoud’s Los Angeles Sports Festival — OutLoud Sports. Registration is $60 per person through August 10 and will increase to $70 per person for registrations from August 11 through August 21.

For more details regarding the Festival, events, and OutLoud Sports visit www.outloudsports.com.

By Trevor

Two Arrested, Eight Cited At DUI Checkpoint

July 24, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Two drivers were arrested for driving while under the influence, and eight others were cited for driver’s license-related offenses while driving through a DUI checkpoint on Friday, July 21. One driver was cited for driving with a suspended driver’s license.

The DUI Checkpoint was located at San Vicente Boulevard north of Beverly Boulevard, operating from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday. The location was chosen “based on reported incidents of impaired driving-related crashes,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  

“The primary purpose of DUI checkpoints are to promote public safety by taking suspected impaired drivers off roads,” The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Funding for the DUI checkpoint was granted by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

By Paige Strickland

Cooling Center Opening At Plummer Park Amid Heatwave

July 24, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Amidst a high heat advisory, the City of West Hollywood will open the Cooling Center at Plummer Park from Saturday, July 22 through Wednesday, July 26. 

The Cooling Center will occupy the Plummer Park Community Center Senior Lounge, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Free transportation to Plummer Park is provided by West Hollywood’s Cityline service, which operates Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information and a detailed route map, visit www.weho.org/cityline.

The Plummer Park Cooling Center hours of operation will vary:

Saturday, July 22: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 23: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, July 24: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Every year, children and pets suffer and die when left unattended in parked vehicles. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can soar to 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes – even with windows cracked open,” the City said in a heat advisory. 

“Think twice before ever leaving a child or a pet in a parked vehicle, even for just a moment,” the City continued.

LA County also operates cooling center locations in West Hollywood, including the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 North San Vicente Boulevard, and the Will & Ariel Durant Branch Library, located at 7140 West Sunset Boulevard.

The West Hollywood Aquatics & Recreation Center, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, is available for community members to swim and escape the heat.

For additional tips on where and how to cool off in West Hollywood, visit the City’s Cooling Center webpage at www.weho.org/coolingcenters.

By Paige Strickland

28-Year-Old Gabriella Flowers Missing Since June

July 17, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Gabriella Silvia Flowers, a Los Angeles-based stylist and model with over 46,000 followers on Instagram, has been reported missing.

Flowers was last seen on June 28, 2023, at 4:50 p.m. on the 8100 block of Norton Avenue in West Hollywood, according to a missing person bulletin released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

Detectives are seeking help from the public to locate Flowers as her family is concerned for her well-being. 

She is described as a 28-year-old Black and Hispanic female, standing at five feet and eight inches tall, and weighing approximately 125 pounds. She has brown hair, hazel eyes, and a Chinese symbol tattooed on her right ankle. 

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Gabriella Silvia Flowers is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323)890-5500. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477 or by visiting http://lacrimestoppers.org

By Paige Strickland

Beverly Grove Murder Suspect Wanted By LAPD

July 11, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD/BEVERLY HILLS—The Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect responsible for the death of a 17-year-old male and injuries to two other victims on Sunday, July 9.

The LAPD reported at 3:50 a.m., officers from the Wilshire Area responded to a call of an ambulance shooting at 3rd Street and Orlando Avenue. After arriving on the scene, officers found three victims who were shot. Victim 1, a 17-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department Personnel. Victim 2, a 17-year-old male, and Victim 3, a 26-year-old male, were taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, by Los Angeles Fire Department Personnel for medical treatment and are listed in stable condition. The name of the deceased has not been disclosed to the public.

Authorities have described the suspect as a Black male, who was last seen traveling southbound on Orlando Avenue from 3rd Street on foot.

Anyone with details on the shooting is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Detectives at 213-382-9470. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Tipsters can visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

By Casey

WeHo Recognized As A Better Cities For Pets™ Certified City

July 10, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city was recognized by Mars Petcare as a Better Cities For Pets™ Certified City for being pet-friendly and for helping to keep people and pets together. The assessment report outlines eight West Hollywood strengths, including:

-Partners across the City of West Hollywood are working together to reduce pet homelessness and get more pets in loving homes;

-A local community cat program is humanely reducing overpopulation and keeping cat colonies vaccinated;

-The City of West Hollywood doesn’t have breed bans or other significant restrictions for pet ownership;

-People in the City of West Hollywood have pet-friendly housing options with minimal restrictions or unreasonable fees;

-Local food banks or animal welfare organizations distribute pet food for families in need;

-The City of West Hollywood’s local emergency preparedness plans include accommodations for and communication about pets;

-The City of West Hollywood has pet-friendly green spaces for people and pets to get healthy exercise and connect with each other;

-There are transportation options in the City of West Hollywood for people who need to get around with their pets.

According to a press release from the city of West Hollywood, the Better Cities For Pets™ Certified City report provides inspiration to help make West Hollywood more pet-friendly in the future including suggestions such as continuing efforts to lead the way on animal welfare and shine a spotlight on pets; continuing its Pet Mayor program; adding signage that makes it easy for pet owners to find pet amenities; making City buildings and facilities pet-friendly to support and demonstrate the benefits of pets at work; and more.

The city has been focused on animal rights movement for decades and the City’s commitment to animal rights is one of its legacies. West Hollywood consistently worked to enact leading-edge animal welfare legislation.

In 1989, the West Hollywood City Council passed Resolution 558 making West Hollywood a “Cruelty-Free Zone” for animals. That was followed by West Hollywood’s move to secure animal care service policies that included a no-kill policy for stray and abandoned animals.

In 2004, the City Council passed an Ordinance to ban the practice of declawing cats, thereby making West Hollywood the first City in North America to ban this procedure.

In 2008, West Hollywood adopted a Resolution supporting Proposition 2, which led to a statewide standard in the caging of chickens; in 2009, the West Hollywood City Council took a stand against puppy-mills and the sale of dogs in local stores that came from such mills.

West Hollywood’s Ordinance prohibiting the sale of fur established that it is “unlawful to sell, offer for sale, display for sale, import, export, trade, or distribute any fur product by any means anywhere within the City of West Hollywood on or after September 21, 2013.” The Ordinance was approved by the West Hollywood City Council in November 2011 and, in August 2015, the Ordinance was amended.

The city invites canine members of the community and their humans to visit two dog parks at West Hollywood Park. A small dog park and large dog park are located on each side of the park’s basketball courts and each area features expanses of open space with shade trees, small mounds and turf terraces, and water stations. In addition, West Hollywood operates the William S. Hart Park and Off-Leash Dog Park located at 8341 De Longpre Avenue.

For more details about Better Cities For Pets™ certification, contact Vyto Adomaitis, West Hollywood’s Neighborhood and Business Safety Manager, at vadomaitis@weho.org or at (323) 848-6531. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City Hosting Free Document Shredding At Waste Collection Event

July 6, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city will host a free document shredding, electronic and hazardous household waste collection event for residents and businesses. Community members are invited to bring confidential files and unwanted electronics, including hard drives, and household hazardous waste for shredding and recycling. The hazardous household waste collection is for residents only.

The city of West Hollywood indicated on its website that the free event will take place on Saturday, July 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center employee parking lot, located at 355 N. San Vicente Boulevard. This is a drive-through event. All e-waste, hazardous household waste and documents must be in the trunk prior to arrival.

E-waste will be handled by certified electronics recycler, Homeboy Recycling, in a way that protects the planet and keeps data safe while creating jobs for people in the region facing serious barriers to employment. All electronics are accepted, with the exception of large appliances, thermostats, light bulbs, and batteries. For more details call (323) 222-3322. Household hazardous waste collection will be handled by Veolia North America. For information call Sandy Nunez at (626) 594-2146.

For additional details, contact Matt Magener, Environmental Programs Coordinator of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6894 or at mmagener@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

WeHo Now Has The Highest Minimum Wage In The Nation

July 5, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The City of West Hollywood now has the highest minimum wage in the country after wages increased to $19.08 hourly on Saturday, July 1, beating Seattle which had the highest wage at $18.69.

According to reports many small business owners are unhappy about the increase stating that it could drive them out of business.

Lucian Tudor, chief executive of upscale restaurant La Boheme, told the Los Angeles Times he has cut staff from 120 to 80 to trim costs. The city’s minimum wage climbed $1 in January to $17.50 an hour for businesses with at least 50 employees.

“These pay increases are about superficiality and about opportunistic politicians who are just trying to make a name for themselves,” Tudor, who would prefer a minimum wage that accounts for tips like what New York City has, told the news source.

Employers facing financial hardships can apply for a one-year delay via a waiver with the city.

This increase in pay is reported to go up again on July 1, 2024. The updated hourly total will be posted on the city’s website.

Jorge Zeparak, 52, who is an immigrant from Peru who works at the Beverly Hills Hotel spoke with the Los Angeles Times in an interview stating that he has seen an improvement in his co-workers lives due to the city’s pay increases implemented in the past few years.

“The reality is that hotel companies are making record profits while workers are barely getting by,” said Zeparak.

Other major cities thorough out the country saw minimum wage increases recently with Los Angeles now at $16.68 and San Francisco at $18.07. Hotel workers in the City of Los Angeles who work at hotels with 60 rooms or more saw an increase to $19.73 from $18.86. Hotel workers in the City of Santa Monica are also seeing the same increase.

According to reports, one must make $40 hourly to live comfortably in the State of California. Smart Asset states that the U.S. city that provides people with the most comfort financially is St. Louis, Missouri.

By Christianne

WeHo Celebrates National Night Out August 1

July 5, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood announced in a news release that on Tuesday, August 1, community members will gather on neighborhood streets in a show of unity against crime to celebrate the annual National Night Out.

Block parties, barbecues, dancing, live entertainment and other things will occur in West Hollywood. Attendance is free. There will be limited street closures during National Night Out; these will occur on Tuesday, August 1, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. A list of events, times, and event locations is being regularly updated on West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/nno as the event approaches.

The year 2023 marks the 40th Annual National Night Out (NNO), which started in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, law enforcement, community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie – and to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized against crime.

Nationwide, over 35 million people in neighborhoods across the country gather outdoors to celebrate their unity and their successes in the fight against crime. Celebrating National Night Out has been a tradition in West Hollywood since its incorporation.

National Night Out 2023 participants include members of the West Hollywood City Council, Neighborhood Watch groups, the West Hollywood Gateway, and West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission and Russian-Speaking Advisory Board. Events will be held in coordination with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the City of West Hollywood.

For more details contact Jessica Anukam, West Hollywood Public Safety Specialist, at (323) 848-6436 or at janukam@weho.org For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

Metro Installation Of Bus Priority Lanes Starting July 5

July 5, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood is spreading the word about Metro’s planned installation of new bus priority lanes along N. La Brea Avenue in the region and Los Angeles. The La Brea Avenue Bus Priority Lanes Project will add bus priority lanes in both directions along N. La Brea Avenue from Sunset Boulevard at the north to Coliseum Street at the south to improve transit travel times during weekday peak hours.

According to a press release from the city of West Hollywood, the first phase of the project will be installed between Sunset Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard; an extension south to Coliseum Street is anticipated in the future. Though most of the project is in Los Angeles, the first phase includes three blocks of N. La Brea Avenue in West Hollywood from Romaine Street to Fountain Avenue.

Construction is expected to start on Wednesday, July 5 and will occur on weekdays (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Construction activities are anticipated to last between four and six weeks. Metro’s contractor will remove existing roadway striping, restripe curbside lanes, replace existing signs with new bus lane signs, and install pavement markings for new bus priority lanes.

After work commences, temporary lane closures will occur on N. La Brea Avenue, between Sunset Boulevard and S. Orange Drive (south of Olympic Boulevard), as necessary. Parking will be temporarily prohibited during work hours on only one side of the N. La Brea Avenue at a time for construction activity. Temporary signage will offer detour information for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

West Hollywood is coordinating with Metro on the implementation of shared bus/bike lanes that were recommended for this segment of N. La Brea Avenue as part of the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan. Within the first phase of the project, including all portions within West Hollywood, new bus lanes will operate on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., replacing the additional general-purpose travel lane that currently becomes available in each direction during peak hours when curbside parking is prohibited.

The goal of the project is to improve speed and reliability for existing transit service on N. La Brea Avenue including Metro’s Line 212 bus service and West Hollywood’s Cityline Commuter service, which provides free rush-hour and Saturday evening service to and from Hollywood & Highland and the Metro B line. Once installed, drivers will be prohibited from driving in the new bus priority lanes during weekday peak hours except when making right-hand turns. The lanes will be enforced by West Hollywood’s Parking Enforcement staff, just as existing peak hour no-parking restrictions are today.

Seventy-five percent of bus riders on this corridor do not own cars and use the bus system at least five times per week. Additionally, all routes under consideration for Metro’s future Northern Extension of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line also include a stop at Santa Monica Boulevard and N. La Brea Avenue, so bus lanes may also one day extend the reach of future rail service.

For more details about the La Brea Avenue Bus Priority Lanes Project visit Metro’s project website at www.metro.net/labrea or review the Metro project fact sheet.

By Donald

West Hollywood Care Team Created To Serve The Community

July 5, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—During its regular meeting on June 26, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved the creation of the West Hollywood Care Team, a new behavioral health crisis response program to serve the community. The Care Team is a first-of-its-kind city-county collaboration to enhance community access to crisis support and services.

The city indicated on its website the Care Team will provide crisis stabilization, safety planning, connection to community resources, and follow-up support. Services will be delivered using an approach based on harm-reduction, trauma-informed, and culturally competent practices. The Care Team will provide mobile response and will ride in unmarked passenger vehicles with no lights or sirens with the aim of providing respectful care to people in crisis. West Hollywood expects to launch the Care Team in Fall 2023 with initial operating hours from Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. By year two, the goal is to expand Care Team coverage to 24/7/365 service.

“The development and implementation of our new community-based behavioral health response team in West Hollywood is a huge step forward in meeting the needs of community members when they may be experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Mayor Sepi Shyne. “The West Hollywood Care Team will bring a whole a new level of sensitivity and a trauma-informed approach that will make our City better poised to respond to needs in way that helps stabilize situations as they occur.”

West Hollywood will contract with Sycamores, a nonprofit social service organization with expertise in providing behavioral health programs and services. Sycamores is currently a mobile crisis response contractor for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Alternative Crisis Response (ACR) system. The city will operate the West Hollywood Care Team in collaboration with the regional system to enhance community access to intensive mental health services provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health when appropriate.

Community members experiencing a behavioral health crisis will be able to call 988 to get support. 988 is the national number for the Suicide and Crisis Helpline. In the Los Angeles area, the 988 call center operator is Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Community members utilizing this service will be able to talk to a trained counselor who will assess the mental health crisis and will provide community resources when appropriate. When the counselors on the phone determine that the crisis needs in-person support, the West Hollywood Care Team will be dispatched to respond to the caller’s location to provide services. The West Hollywood community stands to benefit from the immediate availability of crisis counseling via the 988 call center combined with the region’s added capacity to provide in-person service and care when needed.

The investment in the Care Team advances collective priorities outlined in the City’s Community Safety and Well-Being Strategy (CSWB). The CSWB Strategy helps create a safer West Hollywood community by finding ways to better connect West Hollywood’s existing social service and law enforcement programs, making it easier for individuals to access vital support and services when needed. The Care Team will be a secondary responder to West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputies and LA County Fire personnel. The Care Team will be requested for on-scene support, when a community member needs behavioral health services.

The Care Team program will be overseen by the City’s Human Services Division and will collaborate closely with City-funded social service agencies to support community members’ access to local and regional social services programs.

For more details about the West Hollywood Care Team contact Elizabeth Anderson, West Hollywood Strategic Initiatives Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6839 or eanderson@weho.org. For additional information, visit www.weho.org/careteam. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Donald

LiveOne Stock Plummets

June 28, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On July 27, NASDAQ reports indicate a fourth quarter loss for LiveOne Inc., which is located at 9200 Sunset Boulevard Suite 1201 in West Hollywood. It is formerly known as LiveXLive Media Inc. which is devoted to live music and music related video content from various artists like Duran Duran, Radiohead, Metallica, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, and others.

Photo By Yiorgos Ntrahas Via Unsplash

LiveOne (LVO) came out with a quarterly loss of $0.05 per share versus the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.02. This compares to a loss of $0.11 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of -150 percent. A quarter ago, it was expected that the company would post a loss of $0.04 per share. Over the last four quarters, the company surpassed consensus EPS estimates just once.

LiveOne, which belongs to the Zacks Audio Video Production industry, posted revenues of $25.55 million for the quarter that ended March 2023, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.74 percent. This compares to year-ago revenues of $23.43 million. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates two times over the last four quarters.

For their last quarter, LiveOne (LVO) reported earnings of -$0.05 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of -$0.02 per share. This reflects a negative earnings surprise of 150 percent. Look for LVO’s next earnings release expected on August 10, 2023.

It is expected for the company to report earnings of -$0.04 per share, reflecting a year-over-year decrease of 300 percent.

City Seeks Community Input On Hazard Mitigation Plan

June 26, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood will hold two public meetings to hear community input on West Hollywood’s Hazard Mitigation Plan before its updated. 

The first meeting will be held in person at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center Doheny Room, located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood library. Members of the public are encouraged to RSVP by emailing safety@weho.org.

A later meeting will be held remotely on Thursday, July 13, at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan provides a road map for the West Hollywood community to identify hazards and take actions to reduce negative impacts on residents, businesses, and the community as a whole.

To remain approved, plans must be updated every 5 years and reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Hazards considered in the plans are wildfires, earthquakes, extreme heat and rainfall, flooding, high winds, drought, terrorism, and hazardous material incidents. 

West Hollywood offers these meetings as an opportunity for the community to see their experiences and concerns reflected in the long-term preventative and recovery strategies for these disasters.

​​For those not able to attend either meeting, participation is available by taking a survey in either English, Spanish, or Russian by visiting http://go.weho.org/hazardsurvey through July 31, 2023.

By Paige Strickland

City Council Considering A Re-Ban Electric Scooters And E-Bikes

June 26, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The West Hollywood City Council will decide whether a re-ban will be issued on the use of dockless electric scooters and e-bikes in West Hollywood at a regular meeting on Monday, June 26. City Council will consider three alternatives that respond to safety concerns and community complaints, primarily about scooters.

The Dockless Micro-mobility Pilot Program was launched on July 1, 2021, allowing e-scooters and e-bikes as transportation options for the West Hollywood community. The main goals of the pilot program were to expand West Hollywood’s transportation network, while supporting environmental sustainability. 

Alternative one would end the Pilot Program and return a prohibition of scooters and e-bikes to West Hollywood. 

Despite efforts made by the West Hollywood City Council to address the public’s concerns about scooters littering sidewalks and blocking walkways, the problem of improper parking persists.   

The Pilot Program received 1,452 complaints over the past two years, from July 2021 through May 2023, with approximately 60 percent reported by three individuals. Sixty-six percent of complaints are regarding a device blocking the sidewalk.

On March 6, city council requested for staff to return with research on the implementation of speed-throttling sidewalk detection technology citywide. The proposed use of this technology was an effort to discourage sidewalk riding. Scooter companies, Lime and Bird, did not adopt speed throttling “at the scale desired by the City Council,” according to the City’s staff report. 

Lime implemented a 12 mph speed cap in West Hollywood as of May 2023, but the staff report states that “Lime is no longer pursuing speed throttling for any devices in any of their markets.” Bird applied speed throttling only in specific areas of the city.

If alternative one is selected, the city council would terminate the scooter pilot program by July 31. A ban on “rental mobility devices,” which includes both scooters and e-bikes, would be reinstated by August 1.  

West Hollywood would cancel existing permits with scooter and e-bike companies as well as terminate supporting contracts with service providers like ABM, Populus, and Toole Design. 

The impacts of terminating the use of scooters and e-bikes were acknowledged in the staff report. 

Should the West Hollywood City Council terminate the Pilot Program, setbacks for West Hollywood’s emission reduction goals are expected. Since the Pilot Program began in July 2021, 449,730 total trips, or 628,543 miles, have been traveled with dockless micro-mobility devices. The amount of miles traveled by a vehicle would emit 253 metric tons (253,000 kg) of CO2 emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Unbudgeted costs for the termination process would include $175,000 to contract for the removal of devices from the public right-of-way, $125,000 for disposal of devices not retrieved after being impounded, and $75,000 for the storage of devices removed from the public right-of-way. 

Alternative Two entails continuing the pilot program through October 31, 2023. Staff will manage the program with any modifications desired by the city council and initiate a randomized phone survey, which is set to cost $40K, according to the staff report. In October 2023, city council will reconvene on the issue to decide whether or not a permanent program is possible based on the survey results and updates from staff.

Alternative Three proposes that staff continue the Pilot Program while transitioning into a permanent program. Staff would begin working with Toole Design on the program requirements, proceed with a community survey as was originally scoped (not engage in a randomized phone survey), and accommodate any modifications desired by the West Hollywood City Council. An update including a timeline for the permanent program would be presented to the city council in October 2023.

By Paige Strickland

Art Exhibit Featuring Drag-Queens Vandalized

June 16, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—An art exhibit on Sunset Boulevard was vandalized days after West Hollywood’s Pride parade.

The exhibit featured more than a dozen life-sized photos of Drag-queens that had been burned, gouged, and a few were tagged with graffiti one with the letters “VS.” 

The inspiration for the portraits came from an essay on the second West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval in the late 1980’s. This exhibit has been on the Sunset Strip since May 1 in celebration of Pride. 

The artist’s behind the exhibit chose to remain anonymous for fear of her personal safety. She spoke with ABC7 regarding the incident. “I just think the energy of the country just sucks. It’s like America needs to get it together, I don’t know why people have to be so nasty to each other,” the artist shared. She attended the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval back in the late 80’s and took those photos herself. 

“You know, I just remember that as a really fun time in my life and I wanted to share those images,” she told the news outlet. 

According to video footage obtained by ABC7 the some of portraits had small holes burned into the faces of the portraits. There weren’t any anti-LGBTQIA slogans tagged on the works of art.  

The artist contacted the L.A. County Sheriff but has not filed an official report because she is out of town. It is currently unknown if the vandalism will be investigated as a hate crime.

By Christianne

WeHo Launches News Text Messaging Program

June 2, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The City of West Hollywood indicated to Canyon News in a press release that on Thursday, June 1, they will be launching the pilot phase of a new text messaging program. This will serve as an innovative and personalized way for community members to stay connected to the City.

“I’m excited that the City of West Hollywood will begin using text messaging as one of the many ways we connect community members to City news and information,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. “The new text platform is going to be so helpful for people who want to stay informed. I love the warm and conversational tone of Community and I’m looking forward to how the text platform will expand as the City covers new topics of community interest in the months to come.”

The pilot phase of the City’s new text message program will help the City receive direct feedback to help shape text communications that best respond to community interests and needs. During the coming months, the City will add functionality to the text tool for an expanded rollout with additional news, updates, and information and the City will launch an exuberant outdoor media campaign to help raise awareness about opting-in.

The City’s new text message program is built on the Community platform, which is currently used by corporations, public figures, sports teams, celebrities, and government entities such as President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, The White House, and more. The platform helps users to choose subjects about which they prefer to receive text messages and will not distribute unrelated advertising or spam messages. As the first municipal government using Community, the City of West Hollywood will have a unique opportunity to help shape a new standard of government text communications.

The City’s new text message program joins an array of ways that the City works to engage with community members including:

City website news – www.weho.org/news

City events and meetings calendar – www.weho.org/calendar

Opt-in email subscriptions – www.weho.org/email

WeHoTV YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/wehotv

WeHo TV broadcast and streaming – www.weho.org/wehotv

The City maintains social media pages across all major platforms and urges community members to follow the City (@wehocity) and turn on notifications to get the latest news, updates, and information. Visit www.weho.org/socialmedia for details. The City’s text message program adds to many communications efforts that help keep people who live, work, and play in West Hollywood informed about City topics, such as citywide mailers, news releases, printed materials in City and community facilities, and outdoor media campaign materials placed on street lamps, fence locations, digital billboards, transit shelter posters, and more.

The city indicated that this new tool is not to be used for emergency alerts or notifications.

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station provide community safety and emergency alerts/notifications via Nixle, which is used by more than 8,000 public safety agencies. Nixle alerts may include severe weather or traffic information, criminal activities details, missing persons alerts, and more. To opt-in text a West Hollywood ZIP code to 888777. More information is available at www.nixle.com. Los Angeles County, additionally, provides emergency mass notification text messages via Alert LA County; more information is available at https://ready.lacounty.gov/alerts

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s text message program, please contact Jayce Simpson, City of West Hollywood Digital Media Officer, at (323) 848-6402 or at jsimpson@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Christianne

Planning Commission Approves New Short-Term Rental Regulations

May 22, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The West Hollywood Planning Commission unanimously motioned to add an amendment to the city’s current short-term vacation rental regulations at a regular meeting on May 18. 

The amendment addresses an illegal loophole that some short-term rental hosts have used, called the “bait and switch” method. This entails a host creating a listing for a short-term vacation rental, on Airbnb for example, in an area outside of West Hollywood city limits to avoid being flagged and penalized by law enforcement. Once the guest accepts the booking, the host sends them the correct address, which is located in West Hollywood. 

This can cause confusion with the guest because the location for the original listing is not correct or in use by the host. There have been incidents reported of guests showing up to a location that is not their actual destination, leaving the residents of the home confused or startled. 

According to NBC4, the decision comes as West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne says there has been an increase in people trying to list rent-stabilized apartments on the short-term rental market. There is a current ordinance that bans un-hosted short-term rentals. 

About 80 percent of West Hollywood’s 36,000 residents are renters, and some organizations and community members are concerned about the impact short-term vacation rentals have on available affordable housing. Better Neighbors of Los Angeles describe themselves as “a coalition of Southern California hosts, tenants, housing activists, hotel workers, and community members.” They operate a hotline that people can use to report illegal short-term rentals in their area. The coalition received several complaints about the “bait and switch” issue as early as last summer. 

In addition to the new amendment, the Planning Commission recommended that the West Hollywood City Council re-examine the fee structure established with short-term rental platforms. City Council will discuss both matters at a meeting set for June 26, 2023.

By Paige Strickland

Lily Collins Wedding Ring Stolen At West Hollywood Spa

May 17, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—British Actress Lily Collins, 34, reportedly had her wedding ring stolen from her after she went to visit a spa in West Hollywood.

Collins, who is the daughter of award winning performer Phil Collins, put her items in a secure locker before she went into the West Hollywood Edition Luxury Hotel and Spa. After her visit she discovered that not only was her wedding ring missing but her engagement ring, some electronics and a few other possessions were gone. The amount of the total items lost equates to about $10,000.

Lily Collins got engaged to her now husband Charlie McDowell in 2020. Her wedding ring is a one-of-a-kind rose-cut diamond by jeweler Irene Neuwirth. 

According to reports there were not any signs of forced entry and a description of the suspects involved have not been released. 

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department announced that they are currently investigating a burglary by an unknown number of suspects at a hotel in the 9000 block of Sunset Boulevard and the victim is a “well-known celebrity.” It has not been confirmed if this case is the same or related.

On Wednesday, May 17, the City of West Hollywood announced that they will be hiring more police officers due to the rise in property crime in the city. This vote came shortly after the city council decided to cut LASD funding to help reform the sheriff’s department. 

By Christianne

West Hollywood City Council Votes To Add Four LASD Positions

May 17, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, May 16 the West Hollywood City Council approved a motion to add four positions to the city’s budget for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department services. The positions include one Entertainment Deputy Policing Sergeant, two non-sworn Public Information Officer/Community Liaison positions, and one Sheriff’s Deputy.

The item is posted as part of the meeting agenda and the meeting is available for viewing on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.

In June 2022, the city council added 30 unarmed security ambassadors to conduct foot patrol in the neighborhood.

The motion includes an option for the city council to consider adding another sheriff’s deputy following a community safety update meeting in December 2022.

“The safety and well-being of our community is the City of West Hollywood’s top priority. We’re seeing that crime is trending downward in 2023 from 2022 levels. We’re deeply committed to continuing that trend and making sure our city is safe,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. “We are continuing to work proactively with our community safety partners. There are more Block by Block security ambassadors than ever before and our Sheriff’s community policing team is out during days and our entertainment policing team is out at night so that West Hollywood is a safe place to live, work, and visit around the clock.”

The Block by Block Security Ambassadors Hotline provides access to free, 24/7 support by phone at (833) WEHO-BBB / (833) 934-6222 or by phone and text message at (323) 821-8604. For additional information, visit www.weho.org/bbb.

West Hollywood contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection. For anyone with public safety concerns, contact the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911. For additional information about Community Safety programs in West Hollywood, visit www.weho.org/publicsafety.

For additional information about Neighborhood & Business Safety programs in West Hollywood, visit www.weho.org/code.

For more details contact West Hollywood Director of Community Safety Danny Rivas at (323) 848-6424 or drivas@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

Written By Rob Aungier and Casey Jacobs

Joshua Findley Arrested For Shooting In West Hollywood

May 16, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of the person of interest Joshua Findley on Tuesday, May 9, related to a shooting on April 7. The LASD reported the incident occurred on April 7 at the 7100 block of Santa Monica Boulevard at an apartment complex where the victim was injured.

Findley is currently in the custody of the LASD for unrelated charges including a parole violation and illegal possession of a firearm. There is no additional information available at the time.

He currently had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, unrelated to the shooting.

Anyone with details about the shooting is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station or Detective D. Martinez at (310) 855-8850. To remain anonymous contact “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

By Donald

Three Pedestrians Struck By Driver In West Hollywood

May 10, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking information about a driver who struck three pedestrians in a crosswalk on Sunday, May 7. Three people were transported to the hospital, two sustaining minor injuries.

The incident occurred at 2:59 a.m. at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and North San Vicente Boulevard following an altercation between the driver and a man in the crosswalk.

Dashcam footage submitted to FOX 11 News by a witness, Anton Strubchevskyi, shows a man in the crosswalk hitting the rear windshield of the suspect’s vehicle. The driver circled back through oncoming traffic from the left turn lane before hitting the pedestrians. One person is seen still clinging to the hood of the car as the driver speeds off. The driver left the scene heading west on Santa Monica Boulevard before turning north onto Hillsdale Avenue.

In a special bulletin released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the car is described as a silver Mini Cooper, having an unknown license plate, black bonnet stripes, and black wheels. The vehicle is also missing the front driver’s side quarter panel and has a damaged rear windshield. The suspect is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

By Paige Strickland

Several Suspects In WeHo Armed Robbery Arrested

May 9, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Two adults and two juveniles were arrested by officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in connection to an armed robbery that transpired on April 25. The LASD reported at 9:38 p.m., Keymaurie Clark, 26 armed with an assault rifle robbed two men who were walking in an alley on the 8400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Assisting in the robbery were Briana Threets and two juveniles (a female and a male), whose names have not been disclosed to the public. All four suspects approached the victims and demanded their property.

One of the victims was struck in the face with a handgun by the suspects. A third victim walking on the sidewalk was robbed at gunpoint, when they attempted to intervene. The suspects fled the area in a stolen, silver Dodge Charger, which was being driven by a male juvenile.

During the subsequent investigation, it was discovered the suspects were arrested by the Beverly Hills Police Department on April 26 for Armed Robbery. @lasdwesthollywoodstation detectives believe there may be additional robbery victims in the Los Angeles area and they are working with surrounding agencies to identify those victims.

Anyone with details on the incident or similar incidents is asked to contact Det. Zeff. To provide information anonymously call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Individuals can also use their smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website.

Large Melee Captured At The Grove

May 8, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Sunday, May 7, a large fight was captured on video outside The Grove Shopping Mall involving at least eight people. The incident occurred outside the movie theatre at 189 The Grove Drive after 3:30 p.m., officials with the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed.

The video shows what appears to be a group of people fighting in one of the streets that runs through the outdoor mall. A security guard moved toward the fight as it spilled onto a nearby sidewalk. The guard and another can be seen standing on the outskirts of the fight as it continued.

The video shows a man getting his shirt ripped off as he attempted to get out of the middle of the fight. The shirtless man is seen back in the middle of the struggle where several people can be seen punching and fighting.

A female bystander can be seen in the video shouting:

“Where is the police? Where is security?”

The grove is a 575,000 square-foot open-air retail and entertainment hub that is adjacent to The Original Farmers Market at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue.

The individuals involved in the incident were escorted to their cars by authorities. No arrested were made during the incident.

By Rob

Arts Grant Applications For 2024 Open In WeHo

May 8, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood opened applications for its 2024 Arts Grant program as announced on Tuesday, May 2. For those who are interested in applying, WeHo will host a virtual Arts Grant Program workshop via the Zoom platform on Wednesday, May 24 at 12 p.m. Participants will learn about grant eligibility requirements and the application process. They will also be allowed to ask questions. First-time grant applicants and returning organizations with new development personnel are encouraged to attend the Arts Grant Program information workshop to become familiar with the application process.

The city of West Hollywood reported on its website that grant opportunities are available to individuals and nonprofit arts organizations. Arts grants will be awarded in varying amounts and include funding for performing arts projects, individual artists, and organizational development.

West Hollywood invites and encourages artists and organizations representing diverse populations and diverse artistic disciplines to apply for these grants. As defined in the City’s Cultural Equity Statement, diversity includes all ways in which people differ, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, education, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, geography, citizenship status, religion, language, physical appearance, and the intersection of these various identities. The city is committed to ensuring cultural equity in all arts policies and practices.

The arts grants categories with open application processes for 2024 are as follows:

-Arts Project Grant — Supports the production, performance, or presentation of art projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood and that serve the West Hollywood community. The proposed projects should take place in the City of West Hollywood in 2024 and 2025. Proposed presentations may include, but are not limited to: comedy show, dance performance, drag performance, film screening, fine art exhibit, music presentation, poetry reading, and theatre presentation. The Arts Project Grant category is a match grant (a match grant requires that for every dollar requested from the funding source, the equal amount is matched – through in-kind donations, private donations, and/or other grants) and is awarded in a two-year cycle (with one application, grantee can be awarded for 2 years). The maximum grant award is $20,000 per grantee ($10,000 per year). The deadline for this category is Saturday, July 1, 2023.

-Community Arts Grant — Supports non-profit arts organizations with a history of supporting BIPOC and/or female artists and audiences. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2024. Proposed presentations can include celebrating heritage months, presenting social justice centered art, and/or an educational and participatory program (workshop) which engages BIPOC and/or female artists and audiences. The maximum grant award for this category is $6,000. The deadline for this category is Saturday, July 1, 2023.

-Organizational Development Grant — Supports both the organization’s mission to provide arts programming and the organization’s capacity by directly supporting technical assistance to improve its ability to fundraise, develop audiences, and build its administrative infrastructure. This grant category is not a match grant and, with one application, an organization can be funded for three years. Applicant organizations should be prepared to utilize a Technical Assistant (or arts consultant) to provide sustainable resources to the organization. The maximum grant is $5,000 per grantee per year ($5,000 for each of the first two years dedicated to technical assistance; the final year for the grantee presentation). This award includes enrollment in the West Hollywood Artists Bootcamp, a highly sought after professional development series about the business of art. The deadline for this category is Saturday, July 1, 2023.

-Transgender Arts Initiative Grant — Supports and enhances the presentation of artworks in West Hollywood by transgender artists and non-profit organizations with a history of supporting transgender artists. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2024. Proposed presentations should include art presentations which engage trans artists and audiences. The maximum grant award is $6,500 for both artists and non-profit arts organizations. The deadline for this category is Saturday, July 1, 2023.

-WeHo Artist Grant — Supports the long-term development of an artist’s ideas by providing funds that increase the capacity for artists to realize work, advance the conditions of creation, and navigate the complexities of both making art and making a career. Eligible artists must reside in the City of West Hollywood. The grant award is $6,000 per year for three artists. This category will open on July 1, 2023, and the deadline for applications will be Friday, September 1, 2023. WeHo Artist applications are reviewed by the Performing Arts and Cultural Affairs Subcommittee.

Artists and organizations who would like to apply can visit www.weho.org/arts for more details. For additional information about the West Hollywood’s Arts Grant Program, visit www.weho.org/arts or contact Eva Angeloff, West Hollywood Grants Coordinator, at (323) 848-6354 or at eangeloff@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Casey

WeHo Bans Use Of Glue Traps

April 21, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood unanimously voted on Tuesday, April 18, to ban the use of glue traps making them the first city in the country to do so.  

This ordinance has been in progress for about a year and has been led by Councilmember Lauren Meister. “We are a city that’s a city of compassion and a progressive city,” said Meister. “So a progressive and compassionate city has to lead the way. So hopefully we will be a role model for other cities in banning these inhumane glue traps.” Other pest options will be explored. 

According to Meister, the city does not have a rodent problem but the traps themselves can be lethal for small animals. 

Courtney Penly, a West Hollywood resident and member of PETA spoke during Tuesday’s meeting, “As the staff report highlights, animals that get stuck on glue traps are incapable of freeing themselves.”

This new ordinance is said to take effect next year. 

According to animal rights activists, glue traps are heinous because they immobilize mice and rats, leaving them to slowly dehydrate, suffer and die.

The organization Canadians for Animal Protection, believe glue traps are so cruel that they have taken some of Canada’s biggest retailers — Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Home Depot and Lowes — to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in hopes of banning them from selling the traps.

According to RSPCA, “the use of live traps is a popular choice for many people who prefer to avoid killing rats and mice but want to remove them from their home or property. However, the humaneness of live traps depends on how frequently the traps are checked, the design of the trap, and whether food, water or nesting material are provided to avoid starvation, dehydration or cold stress.

Live traps must be inspected every morning and any trapped animals humanely killed or released into a suitable location. Animals must not be left to die slowly in the trap. Unfortunately, the available evidence suggests that the survival rate of relocated animals is often very low – releasing animals into a new location is therefore unlikely to be a more humane alternative to killing them quickly and painlessly.”

By Christianne

Public Meeting Regarding WeHo FY2023-24 Budget

April 19, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Members of the West Hollywood community are invited to learn about the city’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2023-24 at an upcoming in-person public meeting with the West Hollywood City Council Finance & Budget Subcommittee.

The city reported in a news release that the Finance & Budget Subcommittee meeting will take place in-person on Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at West Hollywood City Hall in the Community Conference Room (First Floor), located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. The meeting is free and open to the public and public comment is welcome. The meeting agenda and staff report can be found at www.weho.org/councilagendas under the “Finance & Budget Subcommittee Meetings” section. Follow the instructions on the first page of the meeting agenda for public comment.

The Finance & Budget Subcommittee, comprising of West Hollywood’s Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore, provides input on the city budget before its adoption by the full West Hollywood City Council. The Subcommittee will discuss funding priorities for the second-year update (Fiscal Year 2023-24) of the two-year budget. The subcommittee may provide direction on matters relating to capital improvements, homelessness, public safety, and other budget topics that span multiple years.

West Hollywood’s current year annual operating Budget and Capital Work Plan is available online in an interactive format at by clicking the “Approved FY2022-2024 Budget and Updated Capital Work Plan” link at: www.weho.org/budget. The online budget provides accessible information about budgeted city revenues and expenditures in a user-friendly format.

For more details about the Finance & Budget Subcommittee meeting, contact Christine Safriet, West Hollywood Assistant to the City Manager, at (323) 848-6467 or at csafriet@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

West Hollywood Acquires Holloway Motel Property

April 18, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Effective Wednesday, April 12, the Holloway Motel property located at 8465 Santa Monica Boulevard was acquired by the city of West Hollywood. It will operate as the Holloway Interim Housing Program to provide comprehensive services and a supportive space for people experiencing homelessness to transition into stable housing.

According to a news release from the city’s website, the Holloway Interim Housing Program will provide “a safe, supportive space for people experiencing homelessness to stay 90 days, giving residents support and time to transition off the streets and into housing.”

The motel property will be managed and operated via a partnership with Ascencia, a nonprofit homeless services agency that provides comprehensive case management and supportive services, and uphold safety for program participants.

In the coming months, West Hollywood and its architectural and construction partners will focus on completing the design, planning, permitting, and construction process to bring the structure up to code so it is safe for program participants, Ascencia staff, and the surrounding region.

In June 2022, West Hollywood received a State of California Housing and Community Development Homekey grant in the amount of $6,007,661, and the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the property to be converted into an interim housing program. The Holloway Interim Housing Program will be funded through state and regional resources that are matched by the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

By purchasing the Holloway Motel, and converting it into interim housing, the city will make progress on the goals of its Homeless Initiative, created in 2016, and double West Hollywood’s available interim housing beds for adults in an expedient and cost-effective manner. The Holloway Interim Housing Program builds on more than 30 years of city efforts to partner with local agencies to provide social services to community members experiencing homelessness. It is designed to be responsive to the unique needs of its community members, drawing on West Hollywood’s proud history of inclusivity and empathy in service delivery.

“The Holloway Interim Housing Program is a collaborative, common-sense solution that responds to community needs,” affirmed Mayor Sepi Shyne. “True stakeholder collaboration is key to the success of this program, and we’re responding to the community’s priorities by directly addressing the issues related to homelessness. This paves the way for city governments to cultivate a nurturing, empathetic community that uplifts and enhances the quality of life for every community member.”

“West Hollywood is committed to providing comprehensive assistance to people experiencing homelessness and addressing the needs of its diverse community. The City’s Homeless Initiative addresses homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response, working in close partnership with nonprofit social services providers, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and Los Angeles County agencies,” states the press release.

To report concerns about a community member who is homeless, contact the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590. If the concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends contact the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850.

Additional details can be found at www.weho.org/holloway. For more information about the Homeless Initiative, please contact Corri Planck, West Hollywood Strategic Initiatives Manager, at (323) 848-6430 or cplanck@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Donald

Former Doctor, Julian Omidi, Sentenced To 7 Years

April 18, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Julian Omidi, 54, a former West Hollywood doctor was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday, April 17, for submitting $120 million in fraudulent claims related to his 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgery business. Omidi submitted to private insurance companies and the Tricare Health Care program for U.S Military Service members, the United States Justice Department announced on Tuesday, April 18. 

In December 2021, Omidi and his Beverly Hills based company, Surgery Center Management LLC, were found guilty of 28 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a statement released by the U.S. DOJ. Omidi also was found guilty of two counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, one count of aggravated identity theft and two counts of money laundering. SCM LLC was also sentenced to five years of probation.

Omidi was a former dermatologist who studied at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He lost his medical license in 2009 after state authorities found that he engaged in “dishonesty and unprofessional misconduct related to his California medical license application,” the U.S. Justice Department’s report stated. 

He oversaw the GET THIN network of entities that focused on the promotion and performance of Lap-Band weight loss surgeries. “Omidi established procedures requiring prospective Lap-Band patients – even those with insurance plans he knew would never cover Lap-Band surgery – to have at least one sleep study, and employees were incentivized with commissions to make sure the studies occurred,” the U.S. DOJ said.  

Omidi used the sleep studies as a way to falsify reasons that a Lap-Band procedure was necessary for his patients. GET THIN employees were instructed by Omini to falsify the results of the sleep studies as well as a patient’s weight. As a result, insurance companies – relying on the sleep study results and other falsified information – pre-approved procedures and authorized payment for Lap-Band surgeries to take place. In a case where insurance companies did not approve the procedure, GET THIN was able to submit bills and receive approximately $15,000 for each sleep study. 

Through this scheme, GET THIN was able to manipulate insurers – Tricare, Anthem Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Health Net, Operating Engineers Health and Welfare Trust Fund and others – to pay out approximately $41 million for Lap-Band procedures, sleep studies, and CPAP devices and accessories. 

“Medical providers are in a position of great trust, and this former doctor broke that trust victimizing patients including military service members with medically unnecessary treatment to boost his own profits by hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

The number of victims that suffered malpractice at the hands of Omini were not disclosed.

In 2014, the government seized more than $110 million in funds and securities from accounts held by Omidi and other individuals and entities involved in the criminal scheme. The government is seeking a money judgment order of forfeiture against Omidi and SCM in the amount of $98,280,221 and is pursuing civil forfeiture of the seized property totaling $107,539,422.

Omidi has a brother, Michael Omidi, who is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.

A separate hearing on restitution and forfeiture, along with SCM’s fine, is expected in the coming weeks.

By Lacy

WeHo Green Week

April 13, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—From April 15 to April 22, the city of West Hollywood will celebrate Green Week to focus attention on environmental efforts.

Green Week will conclude on Earth Day, April 22.  This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet.

“The City will host its 2023 Annual Tree Planting event onSaturday, April 15, 2023, at 9 a.m.” This will be held at Babi Yar Memorial at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Locals are encouraged to participate. Supervision, instruction, and tools and gloves will be provided. The City’s Urban Forest Management Plan presents a 20-year guide to help shape the present and future state of the city’s trees. The plan identifies 68 actions and eight overarching goals that strive to sustain, protect, and enhance West Hollywood’s urban forest, which is comprised of public trees and private property tree,” the city of WeHo states on its website.

Educational videos on caring for trees can be found at: Young Tree Care | City of West Hollywood (weho.org).

Information on events taking place throughout the week is available here.

Individuals with questions about West Hollywood Green Week 2023, can contact Emily Rotman, Assistant Planner of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6802 or at erotman@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Rob

Free Outdoor Games, Music At ‘Spring Fest’ In West Hollywood Park

April 12, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division invites the community to splash into Spring Fest in the Park & Pool taking place on Saturday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Limited parking is available in the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure.

According to the city of West Hollywood website, activities will start at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center and Great Lawn. There will be games, music, performances, free giveaways and more. Two of the featured activities for the event are the Cardboard Boat Races and Themed Rec Swims. In order to participate in the Cardboard Boat Races and Themed Rec Swims, registration is required via the WeHo Rec Reader. All activities for Spring Fest are free to the public.

For more details about Spring Fest, call (323) 848-6534 or recreation@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

For up-to-date information about West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org.
By Casey

Vaccination Required For Bars, Wineries, Breweries And More

September 20, 2021 ·

BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills indicated in a press release that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) will issue a new Health Officer Order that requires customers to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination prior to entering indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges.

Under the modified Order, employees and customers are required to have at least one vaccine dose by October 7 and both doses by November 4.

The New Health Officer Order will require workers and attendees at outdoor mega events (consisting of crowds over 10,000 people) to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before working or attending the event.

Attendees at indoor mega events are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test prior to entry. These requirements will also apply to theme parks within the county.

While not required, LACDPH also recommends vaccine verification at indoor portions of restaurants to reduce transmission risk.

This announcement impacts businesses in the City of Beverly Hills. When available, theupdated Health Officer Order can be viewed at beverlyhills.org/coronavirus.

To find the nearest vaccination site, visit VaccinateLACounty.com or beverlyhills.org/covidvaccine. For questions about business impacts from the new Health Office Order, email businessrecovery@beverlyhills.org.

To stay updated on the latest COVID-19 news, visit beverlyhills.org/coronavirus or call the City’s COVID-19 Hotline Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. at 310-550-4680.

By Donald