When it comes to smoking in Los Angeles County, figures released Tuesday showed that West Hollywood is nearly at the top of the list per capita, according to a new public health report.
The Los Angeles Times has a summary of the findings, which found deep disparities depending on education, affluence, race and gender.
19.6% of West Hollywood residents smoke, according to the report. That ranks us third, behind Quartz Hill and neighboring Lancaster, in Los Angeles County.
There has been talk this year and controversial steps taken to further restrict smoking in public in West Hollywood. The City Council voted (4-1) in December to draft an ordinance to prohibit smoking in outdoor patios and open air spaces at restaurants, bars and other establishments. Since then, a Smoking Task Force has met at least twice to work on drafting such an ordinance.
An active group of anti-smoking activists would like to see smoking banned everywhere in the city except private homes.
The West Hollywood nightlife business community strongly opposes such a law, as do many residents. Many nightlife establishments spent substantial sums of money to create outdoor areas to allow smoking when indoor smoking was banned years ago. Now, the non-smokers want to use those smoking patios and other outdoor areas without having to deal with the smokers.
One of the highest profile opponents is council member John Duran, who was quoted by Weho News as saying, “If you’re trying to make the city less gritty, you’re striking at the heart of what make West Hollywood what it is, the place where adults can do gritty things – you can’t ‘clean up’ the Sunset Strip and Boystown without killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.”
Mental Health and Coping with Stress During the Coronavirus Emergency
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is changing life for everyone. Community members may feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, depressed, lonely, or frustrated in these circumstances. These signs of stress are normal. It is important for everyone to take care of mental health and well being, especially during LA County Safer At Home orders.
“If you feel lonely or scared, remember: at the moment we may be distanced, but we are not disconnected,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “You’re not alone. West Hollywood is a community and we are all here for one another. Please reach out and connect with friends and loved ones or check into the City’s online recreation options or join a group online. And if you need additional support, seek professional assistance through one of our social service providers or the LA County Department of Mental Health.”
The City of West Hollywood has launched a website area with tips and resources for mental health and well being, which will be updated regularly at www.weho.org/services/coronavirus-covid-19/mental-health-resources
- The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health 24/7 Access Line can be reached at (800) 854-7771 or TDD/TTY: (562) 651-2549 and is available to provide mental health support, resources, and referrals.
- If you’re having thoughts of suicide or you are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255 or send a text message to 838-255.
- Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.
California Gov. Newson has released resource guides with information for emotional support and well being:
West Hollywood is a tech-savvy community and there are a number of apps that can help improve well-being. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has assembled a Guide to Well-Being Apps.
The City of West Hollywood continues to provide social services and is connecting community members to information and resources during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please call (323) 848-6510 for more information.
The City of West Hollywood is also getting the word out about the LA County Department of Mental Health resources for coping with stress during the coronavirus emergency. Recommendations are available in a document from the LA County Department of Public Health. The Department of Mental Health Access Center Helpline can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 854-7771 or TDD/TTY: (562) 651-2549.
The City of West Hollywood has declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and is advising community members to adhere to Los Angeles County Safer at Home and California State Stay at Home orders, which remain in effect until May 15, 2020. The City urges everyone to stay in place, maintain your space, and cover your face. Leave home only for essential needs; always use social distancing of at least six feet; and follow guidelines to use cloth face coverings such as bandanas or scarves so that medical masks, which are in short supply, are prioritized for health professionals.
West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to the public and has suspended all in-person transactions. All public City buildings, playgrounds, 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 www.weho.org.
WeHo Reaches Deal on Log Cabin With City of Beverly Hills
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of Beverly Hills and the City of West Hollywood have reached an agreement regarding the property located at 621 N. Robertson Boulevard – also known as the ‘Log Cabin’ site – which is owned by the City of Beverly Hills but is located in the City of West Hollywood.
With an agreement signed this week, the City of West Hollywood will lease the site from Beverly Hills for a period of twelve months and intends to sublease the premises to the West Hollywood Recovery Center, which will continue to provide the same level of addiction recovery services currently offered at the site.
“We are thrilled to be able to secure this space to safeguard vital recovery services. Tens of thousands of people have been helped by the 12-Step meetings offered at the ‘Log Cabin’ and with the addition of the West Hollywood Recovery Center as the lead nonprofit we can count on another four decades of meetings and community recovery,” said West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “These meetings will remain a vital resource for the West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and greater Los Angeles sober community. The City of West Hollywood has been committed to preserving access to services at this addiction recovery space and this lease agreement with our neighbors in the City of Beverly Hills is a testament to working together to address community needs.”
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our neighbors in West Hollywood to allow the crucial services at the Log Cabin to continue,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman.
The Lions Club of West Hollywood formerly leased the site, but that agreement is now expired. The City of Beverly Hills provided notice to the Lions Club to vacate the premises by March 31, 2020.
“We sincerely appreciate the work of the Lions Club over many years to support community organizations and provide valuable meeting space,” added Mayor Friedman.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency and Los Angeles County Safer at Home Orders, all meetings have been temporarily suspended at the site due to the need to accommodate social distancing requirements. Community members may check for updates at http://thewhrc.org.
WeHo Orders Parks Closed, Construction Sites to Follow Health Directives
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood is making every effort to respond to community needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Paul Arevalo, the City of West Hollywood City Manager and Director of Emergency Services issued an Emergency Executive Order on April 9, 2020 Implementing Emergency Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.
Such measures include that all City parks and dog parks are closed to the public and construction sites in the City of West Hollywood shall follow additional requirements for hygiene, sanitization, signage, face covering, and more. The Emergency Executive Order was issued in response to numerous public complaints and City staff-witnessed failures to socially distance at parks and construction sites in direct contradiction to Federal, State, County, and City directives to physically distance, not gather in groups, and stay home except for essential needs in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Failure to abide by public health directives is unsafe and dangerous in this unprecedented time of a worldwide health pandemic,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “Health authorities warn that this week and the following week are expected to be critical weeks in terms of controlling spread of the virus. While construction is identified as an essential activity, the work must be done in a safe manner that is consistent with public health directives and guidance. Face coverings are deemed an appropriate method to protect others from the spread of the virus, as carriers of the virus may show no symptoms and should be worn at construction sites where people may be in close proximity to one another. We are all in this together and must do our part to protect ourselves and others during this time.”
All parks in the City of West Hollywood will be closed to the public.
Full text of the new Emergency Executive Order is available (PDF) at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=44233.
The following is a list of required emergency measures for construction sites in the City of West Hollywood. Failure to abide by these requirements may result in issuance of a stop work order by the Building Official for unsafe and dangerous practices, or any other legal remedy available by law:
- Handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer shall be installed at entrances to construction projects (unless the work is being conducted in an occupied building with operable restrooms in which case sinks are available for handwashing).
- Shared tools and equipment shall be regularly sanitized.
- Signage shall be posted to instruct workers of social distancing and sanitation requirements, and workers who are sick or exhibit symptoms of being ill or those in recent close contact with someone exposed to COVID-19 shall not be present on the work site. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health standards for social distancing shall apply.
- Face coverings shall be worn by all persons present at the construction site, and when necessary, OSHA regulations for personal protective equipment for the activity being performed shall be followed.
- Workers shall not gather in groups larger than three during breaks and shall maintain a six-foot social distance during such breaks.
- “Choke points” and “high-risk areas” shall be identified where workers are forced to stand together, such as hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, and buses, and they shall be controlled so social distancing is maintained, to the extent practicable.
- Interactions when picking up or delivering equipment or materials shall be minimized to allow social distancing.
- The trades shall be staggered as necessary to reduce density and maintain social distancing.
Additionally, the Order allows businesses that would normally be considered non-essential retail businesses but have supply of goods that are needed to slow the spread of the virus (e.g. face coverings, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes), to conduct limited retail sidewalk sales of those goods through a revocable (no fee) encroachment permit, provided that the sales are conducted in a manner that is consistent with Los Angeles County Public Health Safer at Home Order.
The Order also allows window coverings to board up windows to secure a business during this period of closure, provided that the coverings are painted and secured to either the inside or outside of the window.
The Emergency Executive Order will remain in effect for the duration of the declaration of Local Emergency, which is currently June 30, 2020 but may change dependent on the evolution of the pandemic.
Full text of the Resolution proclaiming a Local Emergency is available (PDF) at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=44141.
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This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day