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Author Paulo Murillo

  • Paulo Murillo

 

West Hollywood Attempts to Ban AirBnB

AirBnB, the peer-to-peer apartment rental company offering individuals a way to monetize their extra living space and travelers a cheap place to stay—seemed like the perfect answer to the rising cost of living in cities like West Hollywood. The service claims to connect people to a unique traveling experience at any price point, but neighborhoods all over Los Angeles—including Silver Lake—are attempting to ban the rent-sharing company due to a list of greivances ranging from rowdy, inconsiderate guests to violations of rental agreements. Some Angelenos have accused the rental company of running bordellos. 

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New WeHo Flag Ends One Debate, Ignites Another

A new flag with rainbow color blocks embedded into the West Hollywood logo was hoisted over City Hall on Thursday, March 6. It’s a compromise concluding months of heated debate over whether permanently flying the rainbow flag at City Hall would be insensitive toward heterosexual WeHo residents, or whether the city was being stripped of its gay identity when the flag was removed in January.

Response to the new flag has been favorable, though a new dispute is bubbling with regards to the rainbow logo’s copyright. West Hollywood resident and owner of Block Party, Larry Block, a preeminent advocate of flying the new flag at City Hall, believes the rainbow logo should be in the public domain.

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Murder-for-Hire Plot Shocks WeHo

On March 7, Dawn DaLuise—owner of Skin Refinery, a skin care business aiming to serve Hollywood celebrities in the heart of Boystown—was arrested for an alleged murder-for-hire scheme against an esthetician competitor who moved in next door to her business.

According to Deputy Peter Gomez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau, detectives were investigating a different case when they stumbled upon info regarding a solicitation to murder, which led to DaLuise’s arrest.

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West Hollywood Declines to Invest in L.A. Pride Expansion

West Hollywood City Council rejected a proposal made by the city’s Department of Human Services and Rent Stabilization that would allocate $150,000 to expand and improve the city’s own Pride festival by initiating a ‘WeHo Pride’ event.

At a Jan. 21 City Council meeting, the council brought forward an item with recommendations to expand L.A. Pride with a ‘West Hollywood Pride’ kick-off at WeHo Park. Staff was directed to come up with a budget for the proposed programming. The WeHo Pride idea was developed after months of discussions, negotiations, open forums and analysis by a subcommittee, Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico, Councilmember John Duran and Christopher Street West organizers.

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West Hollywood Gives Traffic Cops the Red Light

It appears that frustrating and slow-moving traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard will continue throughout West Hollywood. Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico and Councilmember John Duran failed to get a pilot test run approved that would place officers along busy Santa Monica intersections to decrease traffic congestion. Their proposal was rejected 3-2 at the Feb. 18 council meeting.

The proposal called for the staffing of two officers at nine intersections from 4 to 7 p.m. for a six-month test period. As an alternative, the city’s Community Development Department suggested hiring sheriff’s deputies at overtime pay to staff three Santa Monica Boulevard intersections—Doheny, San Vicente and La Cienega—for a three-month test run. Read more...


Run in Your Undies at 2nd Annual Cupid's Undie Run

Strip down to your underwear for a great cause.  This Valentines weekend, the city of West Hollywood is set to co-host the 2nd Annual Cupid’s Undie Run in support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.  Cupid’s Undie Run is a one-mile run where it is not only legal to run around in your unmentionables, but it is highly encouraged.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 15, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The festivities will start at noon; the run will begin at 2 p.m.The meeting location for the event is The Abbey, 692 N. Robertson Boulevard. The route for the run is the perimeter of West Hollywood Park.

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A Look Into the Fight Against Helicopter Noise

Celebutants and their wealthy associates who choose to travel by helicopter—while the common folk below wait in frustrating bumper-to-bumper traffic—could get a rude awakening and face some annoying detours and delays themselves if they want to rumble and hover above Santa Monica Boulevard.

As if West Hollywood city officials didn’t have enough on their plate—things like debating a rainbow flag at City Hall and looking into the preservation of Plummer Park’s historical Great Hall/Long Hall—the city recently issued a press release stating that City Council members applaud the passage of legislation promising to give WeHo residents relief from—above all things—helicopter noise.

A 2014 spending package was recently passed on Jan. 15 by the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes a provision directing the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address helicopter noise in Los Angeles County skies. West Hollywood’s Representative, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Senator Dianne Feinstein announced that the omnibus federal funding bill will fund the government for the next year to include a provision about helicopter noise. The bill requires the FAA to initiate regulations addressing helicopter noise and safety issues above Los Angeles within one year.
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In Response to Protests, WeHo Tables Plummer Park Demolition

On Dec. 30 at around 7:30 a.m., an estimated 50 people—West Hollywood residents and members of the Protect Plummer Park group—gathered at West Hollywood's Plummer Park for a faceoff with 10 contractors who were on the grounds to a do a mandatory walk-through before beginning the bidding process to win a demolition contract that would bulldoze the historically significant Great Hall/Long Hall structure. The contractors were joined by city staff members as well as two sheriff’s deputies.

Activists marched around the park grounds holding signage that read “Protect West Hollywood History, Save Plummer Park.” They also chanted “Save the hall from the wrecking ball!”

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WeHo City Officials Criticized Over Removal of Rainbow Flag

Photos by Paulo Murillo

Rainbow flags will continue to fly in the medians of Santa Monica Boulevard, but the rainbow flag that has flown over West Hollywood City Hall for the past seven months has officially been removed. The colorful symbol of the long LGBT movement for equality was removed from the West Hollywood public facility on Jan. 8, upsetting some residents who thought the flag would hang over City Hall permanently.

At a City Council meeting on Nov. 18, councilmembers unanimously voted to go back to the tradition of permanently displaying the official United States, California and city flags on public facilities and allowing the rotation of unofficial flags at City Hall in accordance with special events or months dedicated to specific groups. The unanimous vote gives City Manager Paul Arevalo the discretion to choose the unofficial flag that can fly at City Hall. Some see the removal of the rainbow flag as a sign that West Hollywood is being stripped of its gay identity, despite the vote coming from a council where four of five members are gay.

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Valet Fees Set to Increase in West Hollywood

If the West Hollywood Department of Public Works has its way, valet parking regulations are in for some major changes in 2014. A proposal scheduled for a public hearing before City Council on Jan. 21 is calling for changes to the current system in which valet firms and their affiliates pay a fee to reserve metered spaces during the daytime hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. This will likely open up parking spaces to the public, and it may also increase valet parking fees at night.

The proposal aims to have valet services pay for specific hours for the use of metered parking spaces with a minimum of four hours a day and a minimum of four consecutive days. The fee will be determined by the parking meter rate and number of hours metered parking is enforced in a designated area.

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