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The Abbey and Founder to be Honored by City Council

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The Abbey will receive a special recognition from the City of West Hollywood on Monday September 20 in acknowledgment of The Abbey’s 20th anniversary, its position as an icon of the community, as well as President and Founder David Cooley’s own contributions to the community. Cooley will be honored with a special presentation given by the West Hollywood City Council.

“We are thankful for the City’s recognition and the continuous support from the community,” said Cooley. “It is an honor to have a dream of mine come true – The Abbey has become a city landmark for people to gather and to enjoy themselves. To have this happen in West Hollywood I have to say thank you!”

“The Abbey and David Cooley are part of the fabric of West Hollywood,” said West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land. “The City is proud to recognize the Abbey for serving this community for two decades, and to recognize David Cooley, who has given so generously of his time, talent and resources to numerous community organizations and projects.”

A longtime contributor to the community that has been loyal to The Abbey, Cooley’s Academy Awards party at the Abbey, “The Envelope Please,” has raised more than $150,000 a year for AIDS Project Los Angeles. The Abbey also is the annual host of the AIDS Walk Los Angeles pre-walk breakfast, and Cooley is active in Toys for Tots, Aid for AIDS, South African Families and People with AIDS; as well as Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing, to which he donates his Hancock Park estate every year for fundraisers.

The Abbey continues to grow – in addition to the expansion planned for late this year, Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas has hosted a pop-up location, “The Abbey Beach,” on Sundays this summer through September 26.

Chosen by Logo as last year’s “Best Gay Bar in the World,” The Abbey is once again nominated for this award, and is proud to represent Los Angeles as the only West Coast location in the category. Supporters can visit www.tripoutgaytravel.com/vote/ or Tweet the hashtag #TOGTAbbey to vote.

Cooley and The Abbey will be honored on Monday, September 20 at 6:30pm at West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood.

The Abbey is owned SBE, a Los Angeles-based luxury hospitality, real estate development and lifestyle company which owns and operates several high profile clubs in the area.

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LA’s Original Farmers Market – Business Booming During Pandemic

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Photo by Iñigo De la Maza

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Southern California businesses to shut down, but for many local grocery stores and farmers markets, business is booming.

Food deliveries are soaring as shopper demand goes through the roof. Vendors at the original Farmers Market say they’re coping by doing their best to keep shelves full.

“People are ordering three times as much, as soon as it hits the floor people grab it,” said delivery driver Jerry Portillo.

Eggs are in big demand and fresh produce is a welcome sight. LA County, city issue new ‘Safer at Home’ restrictions on businesses, activities “I live it, I just went vegan so this is good,” shopper Skip Mukes said.”It’s my secret, this is a […]

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Who is ‘Essential’ Now That Californians Have to Stay Home?

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Who is ‘essential’ now that Californians have to stay home?

SACRAMENTO (CalMatters) — Cities and counties were already issuing shelter-in-place orders in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Newsom’s stay-at-home directive had fewer details than many of the local bans. Which should people follow?

In ordering California’s nearly 40 million residents to stay at home, Gov. Gavin Newsom brought myriad county and city public-health directives under a single umbrella in one of the largest restrictions on civic life in American history.

But some local officials, lawmakers and businesses remained confused a day later about who’s allowed to go outside and who should go to work in the country’s most populous state. The breadth of Newsom’s order has so far not been matched with many specifics.

Cities and counties were already issuing their own shelter-in-place orders and other directives in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Many of those orders included specific details about which activities are considered essential, and therefore exempt from the order to stay inside. Others spelled out if, and how, the directives would be enforced.

In Alameda, Santa Clara and Placer counties, plumbers, auto mechanics and laundromats are exempt; bars and sit-down restaurants, not. In Sacramento County, officials said violation of its shelter-in-place directive would be a misdemeanor.

In Orange County, details were a little lighter. Gyms and health clubs were ordered shut. After an initial declaration with an exhaustive list of exempt businesses was rescinded, the county’s new decree is mum on plumbers and other specific services.

In rural, sparsely populated Alpine County, public health officials kept their order colloquial: “Contact with restaurants should all be take-out or delivery. There should be no gatherings of any kind. Walk your dog, go for a hike, sit and enjoy the sunshine!”

In issuing his shelter-in-place order, Newsom clearly intended to impose a single statewide policy.

“A state as large as ours, a nation-state, is many parts. But at the end of the day we’re one body,” the governor said in a livestreamed address. “There’s a mutuality and there’s a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home.”

A website maintained by the governor’s office to provide the public with information about the COVID-19 pandemic exempts “critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.” The site offers a few more specific examples of “essential” services, “such as”:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies 
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants 
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services

The website goes on to say some businesses, “such as” those listed below, are to close:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention Centers

The order also exempts businesses that are needed to “maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors” as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security.

That federal list includes 16 economic sectors, including “commercial facilities,” energy production, water systems and food production.

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, a Republican from Lake Elsinore, compared the more detailed list of exempted activity issued by Los Angeles County with the order put out by the governor.

“That’s less clear. And I know it’s less clear because I have people who were contacting me asking: ‘What does this mean?’ ‘Can I go to work?’ ” she said, speaking from her home office.

In a real-time illustration of that uncertainty, Melendez said that there were workers at her home repairing a leak in her bathroom.

“I told my husband to text and ask if they’re still coming today and they said construction is considered essential business,” she said. But she also said she received a message from a constituent telling her that his father, an electrician, had been ordered to stay home.

“Nobody knows what the hell to do and are afraid that law enforcement are going to come out and arrest them,” she said. “I’m trying very hard to not be critical of the governor because its a stressful and chaotic time, but tightening this up a little would really reduce the stress level.”

Park goers enjoy the sunshine while maintaining social distance a Dolores Park in San Francisco on March 20, 2020. On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all of California to shelter in place and avoid leaving home except for essential needs. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatter
A smattering of people enjoyed the sunshine in a San Francisco park, the day after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his shelter-in-place order. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

The governor’s office has not yet clarified whether cities and counties have the authority to fill in their own additional details, carving out more specific exemptions or adding more restrictions.

In the meantime, some counties are making the call on their own.

“Sacramento County is taking the position that its Public Health Order remains in effect and that Sacramento County residents should follow the Order issued by Sacramento County Public Health Officer on March 19, 2020,” spokesperson Kimberly Nava said in an email.

Karl Fischer, speaking for the Contra Costa County Health Services, which issued a shelter-in-place order Monday that’s more specific than Newsom’s, said county authorities were awaiting the opinion of legal counsel.

“For now we’re encouraging residents to follow both orders,” he said.

Stephen Duvernay is a senior research fellow at Berkeley Law’s California Constitution Center and an attorney with Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento. He said that based on both his interpretation of the governor’s decree and the way past orders have been interpreted, “the order leaves room for local governments to impose further restrictions consistent with the state standards.”

California law grants governors broad authority during emergencies to make or suspend policy and to enforce those policies with limited oversight or due process. That Newsom decided to use such a light touch is notable, said Duvernay.

“Just as important as the reach of the governor’s authority is how he chooses to exercise it,” he said. “The governor is asking us all to use common sense and for local officials to use their best judgment in implementing the statewide standards.

“This cooperative exercise of authority is critical, since the demands and resources of urban centers like Los Angeles or San Francisco may differ from those in the state’s rural counties,” Duvernay continued. “No one in law enforcement wants to be arresting people for walking their dog right now.”

This article is produced as part of WeHo Daily’s partnership with CalMatters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

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Low Interest CA Small Business Loans Available After Disaster Declaration

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Photo by Alexander Schimmeck


SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to all California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today.

SBA disaster assistance is now available to all counties within the  state of California and the neighboring counties below.

Neighboring Arizona counties: La Paz, Mohave and Yuma
Neighboring Nevada counties:  Clark, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Washoe
Neighboring Oregon counties:  Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist California small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

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