On January 25, Torie Osborn was awarded the endorsement of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic club in the race for California’s 50th Assembly District. The problem is, the regular, active members of that club didn’t give it to her. How can this possibly be? The club president told West Hollywood Patch that 45 Torie Osborn supporters became members of the club on December 29th with their memberships paid for by a single check amounting to $1,125. Media reports estimate that about 40 of those new members took control of the endorsement away from the normal club members and awarded it to their candidate.
West Hollywood Patch has started a new feature called “Parents Talk” and to kick things off, they’ve posed the question, “Are Weho Billboards Too Risqué for Children?” Listed as troubling examples are ads for Dexter showing a bloody baby, and a nude Absolute Hunk. The short post encourages people to have a conversation about the issue, and concludes by saying, “Given that West Hollywood’s demographic has changed dramatically in recent years and now includes increasing numbers of families with young children, perhaps it is time to open up a debate on whether these images should be so readily visible to all.” But is that shift in demographics really true? L.A. Weekly points out census data showing a massive drop in the number of youth.
John D’Amico, recently elected to West Hollywood’s City Council, made history by winning the first seat in the race. D’Amico writes this exclusive editorial for dot429 explaining his “campaign of attraction” strategy. (Johh D’Amico for DOT429) – West Hollywood held its biannual election this March. Up for election in this cycle were two long-serving incumbents (John Heilman – 26 years and Abbe Land 18 years) and an appointed incumbent (Lindsey Horvath 1.5 years). In all but one of the past elections since the city’s founding in 1984, the incumbents have won handily, taking turns rotating through the Mayor’s seat on a one-year term basis.
Start with the premise that someone who consistently wins elections for close to three decades is good at it. Quite a few people were surprised and angered when the city council chose to appoint Lindsey Horvath to replace Sal Guarriello. She was so new to the city, with so little experience in local government. Other applicants for the seat were well known to the community, knew their way around local government, and had spent many years serving on city commissions. And Horvath had a recent-enough published record of Bush-is-awesome political sentiment that was just waiting to be turned up by anyone who knew how to use Google, probably a fatal fact in a West Hollywood election.
Opinion by Dan Wentzel, publisher of the Ride the Pink Line blog
When considering how to vote in an election, we all have the issues that matter most to us. My pet issue in local government is public transit. It is vital to me that candidates for elective office have a clear understanding of both the needs and opportunities for public transportation in West Hollywood and the rest of Los Angeles County and the whole state of California. I sent a public transit questionnaire to all of the candidates for West Hollywood City Council, but I did not know what if any response I would get. Editor’s Note: See responses from Abbe Land, Scott Schmidt and Lindsey Horvath.
As the person who started Measure A, I can tell you a few things about it, that those against it won’t. Measure A was written by Constitutional and Tax Law Experts to make sure that it is ironclad and create the most benefit for the people of West Hollywood. In short: Measure A is CONSTITUTIONAL, it DOES NOT allow ANY new billboards or digital signs and the city WILL see an estimated $5 million a year – money that goes into the fund for critical city services. So why are the NO on A campaign lobbyists and the politicians lying to voters? Follow the money. The NO on A campaign is solely funded by the nation’s largest Billboard Companies, which want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
West Hollywood has witnessed another tragic death of a pedestrian after a 21 year old woman was hit by a car on the Sunset Strip overnight. But as Weho Daily readers know, pedestrians and bike riders being hit by vehicles is a fairly common occurrence on our streets and those of neighboring areas. Numerous accidents occur every month. In fact, during the time this article was being written, a bike rider was hit on Melrose Avenue at Detroit (at 1PM). While many people lament these tragedies, we also complain loudly about being slowed down by traffic on our streets. It seems natural to complain about something getting in your way.
Some are wondering what kind of trouble the City of West Hollywood is in now that a subway isn’t planned through our area. L.A. Weekly just posted a story on the subject, and former West Hollywood City Councilman Steve Martin talks about this in a column at WeHo News. They say that the potential of a subway was often used as an example of why buildings with increased density were being allowed to be developed here. As the L.A. Weekly writes, “The City Council’s big dreams of subway-oriented development went horribly sideways on them, but residents are still going to have to deal with nightmare traffic that’s only going to get worse once various projects get built.” The possibility of the subway undoubtedly has come up in many city council and planning commission meetings in relation to density discussions. But the possibility of a subway isn’t the only reason to allow greater density development on our streets. Most of us enjoy living with a degree of density in development around us. It provides for more restaurants, shops and other businesses and services to be within walking distance from where we live or work. If we didn’t appreciate this proximity to businesses, we could very easily be living in more suburban locales nearby. Reducing the proximity of goods and services alone — even without a subway being built — can reduce the use of cars for local trips.
Via Curbed LA, we came across a video report from CNN talking about how the Los Angeles area might look in the future. Parts of the report are made from the streets in and around West Hollywood, which is no surprise since we’re considered by many people to be at the center of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. (Scroll down to watch the video.)
The report puts our local hot topics around development and the evolution of our city on a national and even international stage. Those featured in the report talk about increased density as an inevitable fact. But locally, there are many who resist change in the faces of our neighborhoods and are quite against allowing developers to build larger and taller buildings on our streets. So what is in store for the future of West Hollywood? Listening to the local discourse and debate can be confusing. The one thing we don’t have much control over is the overall growth in population in the Los Angeles area. No matter what we do, more and more people are going to want to drive through our streets and live in our city. Considering that fact, many of the arguments are contradictory.
When will it stop? That is, the growth in the size of limousines cruising our streets… Via Thrillist, we’re hearing that the Colossus is now on the streets of Los Angeles. It claims to be the biggest limo in the world, with room for 30-passengers in the 40-foot-long, 8 1/2-feet wide bright yellow monstrosity. It is so big that it is built on the frame of a large commercial truck.
The City of West Hollywood is posting pedestrian safety posters in three locations for a one week period starting on Monday. Those who regularly read Weho Daily know that pedestrians are hit by vehicles on our streets almost every week. And oftentimes there is more than one pedestrian hit in a week. While it is great that the city and its Public Safety Commission are taking note and trying to do something about the problem, it’s hard to see how posters are going to make a bit impact, especially in only three locations for just one week. An “unveiling ceremony” is to be held at the site of one of the posters on Monday, which seems a bit over the top… we’re talking about posters at only three locations that will exist only for one week. In addition, the posters promote common sense pedestrian safety information that we all learned as schoolchildren growing up. There isn’t any surprising suggestion on ways that a pedestrian might be safer in the City of West Hollywood. They are pretty much exactly what you would expect, and as such, are probably going to be paid little attention. There isn’t even advice about avoiding distractions, such as texting, talking on mobile phones, or listening to iPods while walking or trying to cross the street.