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Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Prang's West Hollywood Report

The monthly report to the community includes City Council actions, 2012 L.A. Marathon street closures, a public safety update, and other upcoming events.

The following is my monthly email newsletter, which is also available by email subscription.

March 2012

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

At the City Council City Council meeting of March 6, I was voted by my colleaques to serve as the next Mayor of West Hollywood. So, the day after Income Tax Day, April 16, at 6:30 p.m., the City will hold its annual City Council Reorganization. I will once again have the distinct honor of representing West Hollywood as the Mayor. And Abbe Land will be swown is as the Mayor Pro Tem. 

As with many cities, the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are selected by Councilmembers with the top two "honorary" positions changing annually. General Law cities like West Hollywood are required by law to "reorganize" annually, although each city has the discretion to decide how this reorganization will occur.

In some more politically fractious cities, councilmembers serving in the "political minority" of the city may be denied the votes necesssary to be elected mayor.  Most cities are like West Hollywood, in which by tradition the office of mayor unofficially "rotates," meaning each member will have the opportunity to serve once prior to anyone having another opportunity. 

Generally speaking, a council member might expect to have the opportunity to serve as mayor about every four years. Councilmembers are elected to a four-year term in office, however, the term as mayor is only one-year.

I do hope you'll join me and my follow colleagues on April 16 as we thank Mayor Duran for his great leadership this past year, and install the new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem for the coming year.

 Best regards,

 JEFFREY PRANG, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of West Hollywood

 

City Council Actions:

Meeting of February 6, 2012

BICYCLE IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS CITYWIDE

As a result of the great work from the West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force, the City has identified several improvement projects that will enhance the emerging bicycle network within our City. The proposed projects will become part of the Long Range & Mobility Planning Division's work plan.

Those projects currently underway are:

Bicycle Parking Requirements-Ordinance Update: The existing bicycle parking requirements for development is in the process of being updated to reflect local conditions, and incorporated bicycle rack design guidelines into the Municipal Code, using best practices from other jurisdictions.

Bicycle Rack Installation Program: This program will provide up to $75,000 to improve bicycle parking opportunities throughout the City by installing bicycle racks in the public right-of-way. The project will be funded with existing Bicycle Transportation Account Grant funding. 

Bicycle Friendly Storm Drain Grates: The Public Works Division will be retrofitting  sixteen existing catch basins with cross-hatched grates which are located in the gutters along the edge of the roadway. Cross hatching (unlike existing linear hatching) improves safety for bicyclists, because it prevents bicycle tires from getting caught in the grate. The project will replace grates on Fountain Avenue from La Cienega Bl. to La Brea Av. The cost for the work is $20,000 and will come out of Public Works existing budget. This should be complete by the end of March 2012. 

Future Improvement Projects: 

Future improvements reflect opportunities the city has to build of the community energy created by the Bicycle Task Force to demonstrate additional commitment to bicycle improvements. The following projects address priorities of the Bicycle Task Force, are endorsed by the Transportation Commission and reflect staff's ambitious but cautious confidence in implementing the projects within eight months or less. 

San Vicente Boulevard -- Bike Lanes: This project is to install Class II bike lanes (a striped lane for one-way bicycle travel on a street or roadway), signage, bike stencils and directional arrows along .65 miles of San Vicente Boulevard, on both the east and west side of the street, from Beverly Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard. The project cost is already programmed as part of the street repaving and striping project association with the City Engineer Street Paving and Striping Program. This will remove the on-street parking along San Vicente between Santa Monica Bl. and Melrose Ave. Construction will begin in April/May 2012. I voted against this measure, not because I oppose the bike lane, but I did not believe that the City had adequately informed the public about the loss of this street parking. 

Bicycle Safety Enhancements: This will install legends and pavement markings to include sharrows, share the road signage, green conflict  striping and/or bicycle boxes, to enhance safety and provide more visibility for bicyclists at various locations. 

Share the road legends and pavement markings to be placed on Fountain Ave. from La Brea to La Cienega, and Santa Monica Bl. from Kings Road to La Brea Ave.

Sharrows (shared roadway pavement markings) to be placed on Fountain Ave. from La Brea Ave. to La Cienega Bl.

Green bicycle boxes would be placed at San Vicente Bl. to increase visibility of cyclists at intersections by placing them ahead of vehicles.

Bicycle Education and Outreach: The City will work with the Westside Cities Council of Governments in a joint awareness campaign, Watch the Road (watchtheroad.org) to promote multi-modal transportation safety. The program offers print ready safety messages and pre-recorded public service announcements. The City will also investigate opportunities to secure advertising space at bus shelters and other venues. 

CITY APPROVES CONTRACT  FOR A STREETSCAPE MASTER PLAN FOR "THE AVENUES"

This contract will provide professional landscape, traffic engineering, graphics, and mobility consulting services to prepare a streetscape master plan for "The Avenues." 

The Avenues Streetscape Project includes portions of Beverly Boulevard, Robertson Boulevard, and San Vicente Boulevard. The City intends to strengthen the economic vitality of this district by enhancing pedestrian connections, bicycle infrastructure, and landscaping, along with improving the aesthetics and functionality of the streets. 

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PARKING STRUCTURE AT 1317 CRESCENT HEIGHTS BOULEVARD

The City Council denied the appeal of a neighboring residential property owner and approved the construction of a 100-space parking structure at the Iranian American Jewish Center, located at 1317 Crescent Heights. The council determined that this structure would solve many of the existing long-term noise and traffic issues that have plagued the neighbors adjacent to the Center for several years. 

City Council Actions: 

Meeting of February 21, 2012 

WEST HOLLYWOOD PARK MASTER - REAFFIRMING REMOVAL OF ON-STREET PARKING ON THE EAST SIDE OF SAN VICENTE BLVD.

The City Council voted 3-2 to reaffirm the earlier decision to remove on-street parking on San Vicente Blvd between Melrose Avenue and Pacific Design Center Road as part of implementation of the West Hollywood Park Master Plan.  While I support th bike lane proposal, I believed that the City should have engaged in additional public education to inform local residents and businesses about the impacts from the loss of this parking. 

CULTURAL RESOURCE DESIGNATION OF 8863 AND 8863 1/2 CYNTHIA STREET AS PART OF THE OLD SHERMAN THEMATIC GROUPING

The City Council approved designating the building located at 8863 and 8863 1/2 Cynthia Street as a local cultural resource as part of the Old Sherman Thematic Grouping. 

This single-family structure, on a multi-family zoned lot, is located on the north side of Cynthia Street between Larrabee Street to the east and N. San Vicente Boulevard to the west. The structure exhibits many of the character defining features of a Craftsman style bungalow popular in Old Sherman, the predecessor to the City of West Hollywood, such as compact, efficient floor plan, gabled roof with wide eave overhangs, exposed purlins, wood lap siding, and windows with muntin patterns. 

DENIAL OF CULTURAL RESOURCE DESIGNATION OF 8865 CYNTHIA STREET AS PART OF THE OLD SHERMAN THEMATIC GROUPING

The City Council voted 4-1 to deny the designation of the property located at 8865 Cynthia Street as a local cultural resource as part of the Old Sherman Thematic Grouping.  I supported the designation and voted "no." 

This single-family structure, on a multi-family zoned lot, is located on the north side of Cynthia Street between Larrabee Street to the east and N. San Vicente Boulevard to the west. Constructed in 1912, the residence at 8865 Cynthia Street is one of a number of 1910s and 1920s properties located along the 8800 and 8900 blocks of Cynthia Street. The north side of this block of Cynthia Street is unique in West Hollywood, in that it includes six small houses, on very small lots, which are accessed from a common semipublic walkway. Out of these six, four houses, (i.e., 8863 Cynthia, 8863 1/2 Cynthia, 8865 Cynthia, and 8687 Cynthia) were identified as being potentially eligible by the City's consultant, Architectural Resources Group (ARG), as local cultural resources because they were built prior to 1920 and constructed during the original period of primary significance for Sherman, a separate, original settlement that was the predecessor of West Hollywood. The block also contains several other Craftsman bungalows dating to the 1920s that are similar to the four houses deemed eligible in scale, siding, materials, detailing and massing. 

1343 N. LAUREL AVENUE - STATUS UPDATE            

The City Council was provided a update on the status of 1343 N. Laurel Avenue, outlining a process to move forward with enhanced public use of the property. 

The property at 1343 Laurel Avenue was deeded to the City in 1997 by Ms. Elsie Wiseman and consists of an approximately 30,000 square foot lot, a 7,177 square foot former single family dwelling, and unattached accessory structure(s) that are approximately 2,379 square feet and consists of a carriage house and garages. The original portions of the structures were built in 1917. The conversion of the original single family residence into four apartment units and the southerly four-car garage addition were completed in 1941. The property and its structures have been designated as a Local Cultural Resource by the City. 

Staff is recommending engaging the community in a comprehensive public process to determine a future use for the property that meets community needs, capitalizes on potential historic aspects, is sustainable from an economic perspective, and is seen as an asset by neighboring residents. Staff currently is in the process of preparing a Request for Proposals to solicit assistance from experts to facilitate a public process and to provide assistance in the formation of various concepts for use of the Laurel property. 

The various concepts will be derived from the input received from the community, stakeholders and others wishing to openly share ideas. Additionally, the Public Facilities Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and other commissions and advisory boards will be engaged in the public process to help develop and/or review concepts and alternative uses of the property. Councilmember John D'Amico will serve as thee city council's representatives on this planning task force. 

The process will give strong consideration to minimizing the impacts of conceptual projects to the surrounding neighborhoods and to addressing any major concerns or issues that may arise from the community. 

While the planning process will help identify the community needs and vision for this property, I will approach this process with a couple guiding principles: preserve the historic aspects of the structures and property and maximize the open space/park opportunities. 

2012 LA MARATHON STREET CLOSURES

The City Council will consider approving road closures on portions of Sunset Boulevard, San Vicente Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard to accommodate the 2012 LA Marathon. 

The Los Angeles Marathon has taken place in the City of Los Angeles since 1986. In 2010, the City of West Hollywood accommodated the LA Marathon's new "Stadium to the Sea" route by approving the course to pass through West Hollywood. As in 2011, the 2012 Marathon route will begin at the Dodger Stadium and finish at the Santa Monica Pier. West Hollywood is one of four cities on the LA Marathon route including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. 

As with the 2010 and 2011 LA Marathon, the 2012 Marathon has requested the following West Hollywood Street closures on Sunday, March 18, 2012 between the approximate hours of 4:00 am and 2:00 pm: 

Sunset Boulevard between North Havenhurst Drive and Clark Street/North San Vicente Boulevard.

North San Vicente Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.

Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Avenue and North Doheny Drive.

North Doheny Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard.

Marathon elements in West Hollywood include:

Inflatable Mile Markers located at: 

  • Sunset Boulevard and Alta Loma Road.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard.
  • Water stations and portable restrooms will be located within the City at: 
  • Sunset Boulevard west of Sunset Plaza Drive.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between Ramage Street and Willey Lane.

Medical Station will be located at: 

  • North side of San Vicente Boulevard at Cynthia Street.
  • Entertainment points of interest located at: 
  • Sunset Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard and Hilldale Avenue. 

DEMOLITION OF 16 UNITS TO CONSTRUCT A 17-UNIT BUILDING AT 1350 HAYWORTH AVENUE

The City Council held a second public hearing on a proposed condo project, but concluded that the design changes did not significantly address the concerns of the Council and the neighborhood. The City Council decided to postpone any decision and to have staff meet with the architect and neighbors to address concerns regarding the project, prior to the submission of redesigned architectural plans. 

The City Council postponed the public hearing to consider the application to demolish a two-story 16-unit apartment building to construct a four-story, 17-unit condominium building for the property located at 1350 Hayworth Avenue. 

The City Council reviewed this application on September 6, 2011 and recommended that the applicant re-design the project in order to better fit the neighborhood, and to take into consideration the adjacent historic property. There were approximately 20 residents in opposition to the proposed project and the common concerns were the following: a) The structure is too massive for the neighborhood; b) A four-story building is too tall on Hayworth Avenue; c) The subterranean tandem parking will cause problems; and d) Lack of sunlight and increase of shade on adjacent building. 

PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATE - Overall Crime Decreases

The City Council received an update on the state of public safety within our City. 

The City continues to be a very safe place to live, visit, and work. Sheriff's personnel have continued to focus their efforts on strengthening patrols in the neighborhoods and maintaining the quality of life for the community. In the second half of 2011, Part I crime (crimes against persons and property crimes) decreased by 3.5% as compared to the same period in 2010. 

Sheriff's personnel, Public Safety staff, and the Public Safety Commission regularly examine crime statistics in order to identify problem areas and adjust resource deployment as appropriate. Although current resources are adequate, the Station Captain has the ability to work with the City Manager's Department to adjust resources and add additional patrols to target specific problems. For example, patrols are increased every holiday season to prevent thefts and robberies, and this past fall the Captain added foot and bike patrols to serve the community. Foot and bike patrols will continue throughout 2012 as well. 

City Public Safety personnel continue to promote neighborhood livability and address the various quality of life issues that regularly impact the West Hollywood community, including impacts from noise (loud music, motorcycles), speeding, and night club operations. Specifically, the Community Impact Team (CIT) Deputies are extremely proactive in addressing the impacts from entertainment establishments and special events. CIT Deputies have increased criminal enforcement of various neighborhood concerns, including drinking in public, criminal transient issues, and various nuisance issues.

Public Safety personnel serve on the Quality of Life Task Force headed by the Public Works Department, the Vacant Properties Committee, the High Impact Business Committee, the Park Security Committee, and the Homelessness Issues Committee. In addition, Sheriff's Deputies work with code compliance staff to address issues such as anti-scavenging, dogs off leash, illegal hot dog cart vendors, bandit taxi cab enforcement, and other nuisance issues. Staff and the Public Safety Commission also continue to promote the "Live, Work, Play, Be. Safe" public education campaign. 

Please contact the City's Public Safety Division to see a copy of the complete report. 

UPDATE OF THE 2011-2012 OPERATING BUDGET, CAPITAL 

WORK PLAN, AND VISION 2020 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Each year, the City of West Hollywood develops a budget that addresses the needs of the City's diverse community, reflects shared priorities and moves the City toward the goals and objectives established in the Vision 2020 strategic plan. This is the final update of 2010-2012 budget cycle; an extremely challenging budget cycle as it came on the hills of the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. As expected, recovery from the recession has been very slow but the City has persevered, accomplishing many of its primary strategic goals and continuing its strategic programs. 

As we look toward the remainder of this fiscal year and begin preparation of the 2012- 2014 budget cycle, the State of California and its budget problems continues to be our greatest concern. Staff will continue to closely monitor the recently passed AB 1X26 legislation dissolving redevelopment agencies. We also continue to work closely with Page 2 the City's lobbyist to monitor various that may negatively impact local governments and social service providers. As we prepare the upcoming budget we will work toward filling some of the social service gaps left by recent State budget cuts and continuing to improve the City's infrastructure. 

As the council prepares the City's 2012/2013 budget, I plan to advocate for an increase in the City's public safety budget. There are two specific areas that I believe need augmentation: foot and bike patrols, especially during late evening hours along Santa Monica, Robertson and Melrose; and an increase in motorcycle deputies to enhance traffic enforcement on our residential streets, which are severly impacted by a large volume of traffic, speeders, and commuter cut-through traffic. 

City Council Actions: 

Meeting of March 5, 2012 

WEST HOLLYWOOD TO ESTABLISH A GATEWAY SIGNAGE TASKFORCE

The City Council has approved the establishment of a Gateway Signage Taskforce of stakeholders in the three primary districts of Santa Monica Boulevard, The Avenues, and the Sunset Strip. This taskforce is the first critical step towards the creation of entry and award recognition features. The proposed markers are intended to refelct West Hollywood's spirit of diversity, idealism, creativity and innovation as well as the unique groupings and areas that comprise the community.  With a strong visiual identity, the City will continue to be recognized as a premiere business, commerical, residential, and art & entertainment destination.  

PARKING CREDITS PROGRAM ORDINANCE

The City Council adopted a parking credits ordinance. This program is a joint project between the Parking Division and Planning. The City has been working with consultants since 2009 to develop a program that uses actual parking inventories to assist new and expanding small businesses seeking to meet code required parking. 

Parking Credits are a strategy whereby new and expanding businesses would be able to satisfy require parking based on a pool of actual spaces from public and private facilities identified as having a surplus inventory that applicants may draw from. 

The ordinance defines and establishes policies for managing the parking credits pool, and covers the initial application process, payment of the annual fees, and how changes in property owners and/or tenants will be addressed. The ordinance also contains provisions to require parking surveys every six months in an active parking credits district as an assurance that the district is able to support the number of parking credits in the pool, by documenting an occupancy rate of 85% or less. 

For more information visit:  http://www.weho.org/ftp/packets/cc/3A.pdf 

West Hollywood City News 

CITY INVITES RAINBOW KEY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

The City of West Hollywood invites nominations for the 2012 Rainbow Key Awards. The Rainbow Key Awards recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts have significantly benefited the lesbian and gay community of West Hollywood. Nominations are requested by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. 

Since 1993, the Rainbow Key Awards have honored activists, artists, civic leaders, educators, and community organizations. Nominations may be made by anyone, and nominees may labor in any area of endeavor; eligibility is not restricted by geography or sexual orientation. 

The awards are presented by the West Hollywood City Council, with recommendations from the City's Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. The Rainbow Key Awards ceremony will be held in June 2012. 

For more information or to submit nominations, please contact Jeff Book, Staff Liaison at the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board at (323) 848-6471 or email: jbook@weho.org 

CITY TO HOST LOW COST PET VACCINATION CLINIC

Saturday, March 24, 2012

9 am to 1 pm

WeHo City Hall Parking Lot

The City of West Hollywood and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Los Angeles will conduct a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. The clinic will offer rabies vaccinations and microchipping for cats and dogs; DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations for dogs; and FVRCP and Leukemia vaccinations for cats. The fee for microchips at the clinic is $25 for cats and dogs. Rabies vaccinations are $5 for cats and dogs. DHPP, FVRCP and Leukemia vaccinations are $15 and Bordetella vaccinations are $10. 

For more information, please contact Helen Collins at (323) 848-6895. For the deaf and hard of hearing, please call (323) 848-6496. 

Current / Upcoming Events: 

Mark Your Calendars 

CITY TO CO-HOST LECTURE SERIES ON LGBT TOPICS

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Community Room

New West Hollywood Library

625 N. San Vicente Boulevard 

The City of West Hollywood will co-host a lecture series with The Williams Institute on topics of interest to the LGBT community. The Williams Institute advances sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. A national think tank at UCLA School of Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance. 

The next lecture is: 

"Protecting Your Hard-Earned Money - What the LGBT Community Needs to Know," on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Community Room at the New West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The lecture will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer period and a dessert reception. Speakers will include Lee Badgett, Research Director, The Williams Institute; Jennifer C. Pizer, Legal Director; Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law, The Williams Institute; Wendy E. Hartmann, Associate, Bennett & Erdman; and Michael D. Steinberger, Public Policy Fellow, The Williams Institute. 

Free validated parking is available. Enter the parking structure on El Tovar Place off Robertson Boulevard in between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. 

For more information or to RSVP please call (310) 267-4382 or email williamsinstitute@law.ucla.edu 

WHAP! WEST HOLLYWOOD/CAL ARTS LECTURE SERIES - Upcoming Lectures

West Hollywood Library, Council Chambers

625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

West Hollywood, California 

The City of West Hollywood has partnered with the California Institute of the Arts' Masters Program in Aesthetics and Politics to co-host "Whap!," a new lecture series on topics including critical and political theory, art and architecture. "Whap!" will also feature film screenings and related discussions. The series is one of the first announced to take place in the City Council Chambers at the New West Hollywood Library which is located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood. 

The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was the nation's first art institute to offer Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in the visual and performing arts. It is internationally renowned as one of the leading centers for undergraduate and graduate study in the performing and visual arts and in the critical study of these arts. 

The "Whap!" lecture series schedule includes: 

Biology and Politics - Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. City Council Chambers in the West Hollywood Library. This lecture will include Catherine Malabou, who teaches philosophy at Kingston University in London and is known for her work on the notion of plasticity at the crossroads of philosophy and neuroscience; biologist and statistician Mike Bryant, a science instructor at the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts; and Arne de Boever, editor of Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy and the director of the Masters Program in Aesthetics and Politics at the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. 

Aesthetics of Translation - Friday, April 6, 2012, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. City Council Chambers in the West Hollywood Library. This lecture will feature Erik Bullot, a filmmaker and scholar of modern French cinema, and instructor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Bourges in France. Also taking part will be award-winning filmmaker and documentarian Rebecca Baron and Jon Nelson-Wagner, Visiting Professor of Film Theory at USC and professor of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, and a core member of its MFA Writing Program. 

Constructing the Future - Friday, May 4, 2012, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. City Council Chambers in the West Hollywood Library. Ric Abramson, Norman Klein and John D'Amico will host this lecture. Abramson teaches at the USC School of Architecture, and his professional practice focuses on creative land use strategies, urban housing typologies, hybrid programs, residential hillsides and urban infill. Klein is a novelist, cultural critic, and urban and media historian. D'Amico is a City of West Hollywood City Councilmember and a California Institute of the Arts alumni. 

All "Whap!" lectures will be free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Pay parking will be available at the West Hollywood Park/Library Parking Garage at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard (enter from Robertson Boulevard at El Tovar Place).

 For more information contact Michelle Rex, Deputy to West Hollywood Councilmember John D'Amico at (323) 848-6460. 

TRIBE

West Hollywood Gay Men's Discussion Group

2nd Thursday of every month

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Community Meeting Room (Weho Library)

625 N. San Vicente Boulevard 

The West Hollywood Gay Men's Discussion Group will meet the second Thursday of every month for a series of lightly moderated discussions open to the public to encourage attendees to discuss their own experiences about issues ranging from the existence and importance of "Gay culture" to how Gay men view the concept of "family" to the varied experiences of youth and Seniors in the Gay male community. The TRIBE discussion group will provide an open space for building relationships, promoting dialog, identifying challenges, and creating solutions for issues currently facing Gay men. In honor of Valentine's Day, the topic of our first discussion will be "Dating & Sex - The Urge to Merge." This inaugural discussion will focus on the one thing all gay men have in common, the urge to merge with other men. Discussion topics will include: great dates & dating horror stories; cyber connections; the good, the bad, and the ugly; how to ask out the guy you absolutely know is "the one"; and saying "no" with class. Come out and learn about other gay men's dating habits and experiences and maybe share your own story. Who knows? You might find your Valentine in the room! 

Admission is free. Validated parking will be available in the five-story parking structure adjacent to the Library. 

For more information, please visit www.weho.org/tribe or email tribe@weho.org 

TTY for the deaf and hard of hearing (323) 848-6496. 

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTS -- 2012 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Police Academy

April 19 through June 14, 2012

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Elysian Park Police Academy

1880 N. Academy Drive, Room #2

Los Angeles, CA  90012 

This FREE nine-week academy is designed to give community members an overview of the Los Angeles Police Department's policies and procedures as they pertain to the LGBT community. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional law enforcement academy. However, the weekly sessions are not designed to certify the participants as a law enforcement officer. 

Everyone is welcome, however each participant must meet the following criteria:

Must be 18 years of age or older;

Must complete and submit an application by April 16th;

Must be approved by LAPD's Personnel and Training Division Commanding Officer.

Interested citizens should contact the LGBTQ Liaison Officer Alessandra Moura for an application or course information, at 213/486-6009 or email at 36688@lapd.lacity.org 

West Hollywood Public Notices: 

Planning Commission Actions: 

Meeting of February 02, 2012

At Planning Commission meeting the Commission took the following action:

500 N. Orlando (subdivision map).  The Commission denied a tract map to allow for the sale of condo units in an apartment building currently under construction. 

7100 Santa Monica Boulevard (Target). On a 7-0 vote the Commission denied a request by Target to allow for the sale of liquor in addition to beer and wine that is currently permitted. 

Meeting of February 16, 2012

At Planning Commission meeting the Commission received informational presentations focused on the following topics:

General Plan Overview and Implementation. Discussion of Zone Text Amendment Process and role of the Planning Commission

Primer on Planning and Zoning Law and application to the decision making process

No formal action was taken. 

Items Coming Before City Council 

MARCH 19, 2012:

This is a regular meeting of the City Council, scheduled for Monday, March 19th, at 6:30 p.m., at the West Hollywood Library and City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood.

Agenda's should be available online by Thursday, March 15, 2012.

To view the full agenda, please go to www.weho.org 

Other News... 

SCAM ALERT:  JURY DUTY PHONE CALLS

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"-- your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number. 

This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam. This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). 

Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty so a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced. 

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado, AZ and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. 

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here:

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

And here:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp 

REPORT FROM LA COUNTY PUBLIC  HEALTH DEPT

In March of 2011 the LA County Public Health Dept. released a report, "Reducing Alcohol-Related Harms in LA County: A Cities and Communities Health Report."  Last month they sent a revised version, which they asked to be distributed to the Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager. And I would like to share it with you. 

This new version reflects revisions made after an error was discovered in the motor vehicle crash data used in the report. The error was corrected and resulted in changes to the alcohol-involved motor vehicle crash rates and rankings for the cities and communities listed in Table 2. 

Despite the revisions in the data, the findings are very similar to what was previously reported, and there were no changes in the conclusions or to any other information provided in the report. 

Here is a link to the revised report: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/resources/AODFinalRevised13012.pdf

FREE TAX PREPARATION

Jerome E. Horton, Chairman and West Hollywood's representative on the CA State Board of Equalization (BOE) announces free income tax preparation assistance for qualified filers through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. "For every 1,000 returns completed, up to 5.7 million dollars can be recaptured from the federal government, helping stimulate local economies and aiding in improving the quality of life for low-income working individuals and families," said Horton. 

Horton recommends residents capitalize on federal tax credits. If you earn less than $50,000 you may be entitled to federal tax credits up to $12,000, including $5,751 in federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). Federal tax credits supplements the wages of low-income workers; especially working mothers, lifting more children out of poverty than any other single program or category of programs. The EITC will help 6.5 million working parents with 15 million children. 

The BOE will also host Free Income Tax Preparation Services at each BOE District Office one day a week from January 25, 2012 to April 13, 2012. For more information please call 323-980-1221 or visit www.boe.ca.gov 

All Family Services are open to the public. Free Tax Preparation Assistance for Household Incomes of $50,000 or less. Appointment recommended. Walk-ins are welcomed based on availability. Please call specific site locations for detailed information. 

Saturday, March 17

Los Angeles City College

855 North Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90029

323-909-1975

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, March 24

California State University, Los Angeles

5151 State University Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90032

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Up to $12,000 could be yours! To qualify for up to $5,751 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. In addition, you must either meet the additional rules for workers without a qualifying child or have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules. To determine if you qualify go to: www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96406,00.html.

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WeHoOne March 12, 2012 at 06:21 PM
So much for Prang's little fluff piece. I would like to see each city council member "rotated" right out of office. They fight putting term limits on the ballot because they know they would be shown the door by the electorate after 2 terms & they don't want to give up their seats and elect new people to give the city some fresh ideas and new approches to matters every 8 years, as it should be. They say elections are "term limits", so this time let's make it so and hire some new people for the upcoming seats. The city council should have no say in the matter of term limits, it is up to the people to get term limits on the ballot if they want them and the current city council just shows their arrogance & insecurity by fighting it, obviously because of very personal self serving reasons. The reason the incumbant politicians seem to be permanently ensconced in their seats and can't be pried loose by elections, is because not enough people vote, or those who do they don't bother to update themselves on current issues or new candidates before voting. It's just so much easier to punch the hole of a familiar name than it is to bring yourself up to speed on new candidates. It is time for the people of West Hollywood to get off their whoopie cakes and get involved in the upcoming election, I know we can get term limits on the ballot, but above all I know we can elect new people if we put our minds to it & get enough people involved, just as we did in the last election.
Sheila Lightfoot March 12, 2012 at 06:56 PM
All well said. I'm working on some "next steps" to, hopefully, bring those of us with your enthusiasm and determination together to put our ideas into action on a future we can all believe in. If we're willing to work together there isn't anything we can't accomplish. After all... the City DOES belong to the voters, does it not? :)
me March 13, 2012 at 03:57 AM
as one who bikes, i certainly applaud any effort to make this a more bike-friendly city, but it's absurd to think that removing parking meters on san vicente between santa monica and melrose is that significant when parking is already tough enough!!....hell, why not remove ALL street parking in the city????.....no, the answer is that cars and bikes need to learn to SHARE THE ROAD, and this goes BOTH ways......all of my follow cyclists are not riding safely and by the laws of the land (running stop signs and traffic signals for one), so i'd like to see more enforcement of my fellow cyclists too before major accidents start occurring.....and they will, you can bet on it!!.....it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out who wins between a cyclist and a car.....BE SAFE, BE SMART, STAY ALIVE
Manny March 13, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Very informative report. I look forward to the next one and a refreshing change in the Mayor's seat.

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