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LA Consumer Alerts Issued on Popular Holiday Gift Items




LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer and District Attorney Jackie Lacey have addressed the serious safety threats posed by counterfeit and recalled products.

Specifically, they focused on popular holiday gift items such as phone chargers, helmets, toys and car seats.

“Holiday shoppers need to be vigilant,” said Feuer. “It’s all too easy to buy counterfeit or recalled items online that rip you off financially and pose a threat to the safety of you and your family.”

“Counterfeit phone chargers don’t work and carry the real risk of shock and electrocution.

Recalled bike helmets, like the one we were able to purchase on, might not provide the necessary protection for your child. The same goes for recalled or counterfeit child car seats.

Please follow key tips and protect yourself and your loved ones.”

“The sale of counterfeit goods not only undermines our economy but also may place hazardous items in the hands of our children,” District Attorney Lacey said.

“Counterfeit toys, car seats and mobile phone chargers may sound harmless, but they do not go through the same vigorous safety checks as legitimate items. As a result, they may endanger the health and safety of our loved ones.”

Joined by representatives from Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, LAPD, LA County Sheriff, LA County Department of Health Services and safety-certification company UL, Feuer and Lacey warned that counterfeit items, like fake phone chargers, rarely meet industry safety standards necessary to protect users.

Recently, UL tested 400 counterfeit chargers and found a 99% failure rate. All but three failed basic safety tests and were hazards for electrocution and shock. In 2018, the City Attorney’s Office partnered with UL and Apple to prosecute civil enforcement actions against downtown merchants selling counterfeit iPhone chargers. 

Discounted prices are a sign that the products are likely counterfeit. Among the other tips they shared to help holiday shoppers avoid possible counterfeit or recalled items: 

  •  Consider buying from a brick-and-mortar store, or online directly from a manufacturer.  
  • Check labels. Legitimate items have safety and other labels attached to indicate they have passed testing requirements and are in compliance with applicable industry standards.
  • If the price of an item seems too good to be true, it may be. Check competitor prices, and be wary that products with below-market prices may be counterfeit or recalled.
  • Be careful to examine the quality of a product. Flimsy or poorly printed packaging, missing stickers or trademarks, misspelled or abnormally large logos, and component parts that appear cheap or broken can all signal an item is counterfeit. 
  • And to verify that products haven’t been recalled, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

For helmets, the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission, which regulates them, said, “Helmets and safety gear are a must. Helmets should fit properly and be worn at all times. Consumers should beware of bicycle helmets that do not have a label indicating they meet CPSC’s mandatory safety standard because they may not protect your head in a crash.” 

In addition, these statements must be present on helmets: 

  • Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older, or
  • Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 1 and Older (Extended Head Coverage).
  • They should also include the name, address and telephone number of the manufacturer or importer. And for kids under the age of 5, it must specifically say “…is safe for persons age 1 and older.”

For car seats, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urges consumers to avoid using or purchasing those that do not meet federal safety standards. They have identified the following “telltale signs” of potential safety issues: 

  • Car seats without lower anchor attachments;
  • Car seats without proper labeling;
  • Car seats lacking a chest clip, or only secured by a seat belt crossed over the seat and not correctly installed.

NHTSA’s website provides a wealth of further resources, including a Car Seats and Booster Seats section, an ease-of-use car seat ratings section and an online checker for car seat recalls. NHTSA also encourages consumers to register their car seats in order to receive recalls and safety notices from car seat manufacturers, and to sign up to receive e-mail alerts from NHTSA about car seat and booster seat recalls. Additionally, NHTSA encouraged consumers to report suspected safety issues and concerns about car seats or other child restraints to its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236, or by filing a non-vehicle complaint.

Consumers who would like FREE assistance with their car seat installation can make an appointment by calling LAPD’s Child Safety Seat Coordinator at (818) 644-8143 or with the NHTSA, which also offers Spanish-speaking technicians.

Residents with information regarding the sale of counterfeit or recalled phone chargers, bicycle helmets, or car seats are urged to contact the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office at 213-978-8070 or online

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Aid for Renters, Seniors, and Community During Emergency



photo by Douglas McLaughlin

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood has updated its website with information and links to resources for a range of programs to assist residents and businesses, and they say they are implementing additional programs to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

For the latest City of West Hollywood information, visit .

The City’s website features information about rental assistance and eviction protections for renters facing economic hardship due to coronavirus; links to resources for workers and businesses; and information for seniors to connect to services from community organizations and find out about basics such as current neighborhood grocery store hours.

There are also details about the Safer at Home LA County Order, which urges all community members to stay at home to reduce transmission of coronavirus. 

As a reminder, West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to the public and is suspending all in-person transactions. All public City buildings and facilities are closed.

City Hall will remain accessible for business and essential services with transactions to be conducted by phone (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at

The City encourages community members to continue to follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and turn on notifications for up-to-date information.

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LA County Workers Cut Down Beach Volleyball Nets Due to Coronavirus



LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — The coronavirus pandemic is giving new meaning to the March tradition of cutting down nets … beaches across Los Angeles County are making sure no one plays volleyball.

L.A. County workers are busy cutting down volleyball nets across the Santa Monica, this only hours after California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered residents to stay home to help slow down the spread of the novel virus.

The decision to take volleyball off the table makes sense when you think about it … everyone in a volleyball match touches the ball, and they’re usually sweating and perspiring, which is not a good combination when it comes to COVID-19.

Despite the “Safer at Home” order for California residents, people can still go outside to walk and get exercise … officials urged folks not to congregate at the beach, and now there’s no way to get a volleyball game going.

We’re used to seeing basketball players cut down the nets during March Madness … but that’s just another annual tradition suspended due to the pandemic.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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WeHo JFS Service Changes For Seniors and Others Due to Virus



WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood is taking every precaution to prioritize community health and well being to respond to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The City is getting the word out about updates regarding services for seniors at the West Hollywood Comprehensive Services Center at Plummer Park and services available from Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS)

  • JFS has immediately cancelled all activities at the West Hollywood Comprehensive Services Center at Plummer Park until April 10, 2020 as a precaution to safeguard health and safety and JFS will make assessments as the situation evolves;
  • The JFS meal site will provide a frozen meal for each client coming to its meal sites on Monday, March 16, 2020 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and the organization anticipates providing additional meals for clients in order to minimize client contact and support recommendations for social distancing;
  • Additionally, SOVA, the JFS food pantry, located on Pico and Robertson Boulevards, continues to remain open for community members.

The JFS West Hollywood Comprehensive Service Center remains a vital resource for seniors and people with disabilities and it will continue to be operational at this time. Operated by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS), funded in large part by the City of West Hollywood, and located in the community center at Plummer Park, the Center is a one-stop source of support and assistance.

In response to concerns about coronavirus, JFS requests that community members contact the Center by phone instead of in person. Currently, case managers are reaching out to connect with clients and assess needs. For more information, please call (323) 851-8202.

For additional information about social services in the City of West Hollywood, please call (323) 848-6510.

The City of West Hollywood will post updates on its website at The City is updating its calendar and information will be available at

For updates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about Coronavirus, please visit

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