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Sundown on Sunset: The Brian Travis Band

The Muse Café in Hollywood is a rustic old storefront turned into a neighborhood vegan coffee shop.

Brian Travis Band 3 Photo By Sean PatrickIt’s hard to miss on Santa Monica Boulevard, because the corner is lit up from inside.

I headed out on a Tuesday night to hear the Brian Travis band play a set. I always love the creativity a musician can muster at a smaller venue, and Brian brought it out, and customized it just for that room.

Brian has played around town and on various recordings enough to have a good body of work, and the songs he pulled out for us at Muse Café were fun, even as some of them tried to hide a little pain.

In fact, his music can be so compelling that a Sunset Strip a club owner set his bar on fire to celebrate a great performance from band, at Isla Cantina on Sunset Boulevard. As the band dove into the opening notes of the Burning Man-themed crowd favorite “Gasoline,” a row of flame whipped across the top of the bar.

“We were firing on all cylinders that night,” says singer and guitarist Brian Travis. “The place was packed and we were charged up. Our best shows don’t just rely on execution. They happen when we’re playing with great energy and the kind of momentum that pushes rock and roll forward, tapping into the spirit of the music itself.”

Before a note was played, I was glad to see drums, which aren’t really a fixture in the acoustic scene, and one of my favorites, a mandolin.

Brian Travis Band 4 Photo By Sean PatrickBrian opened the set with Bird Of Prey, accompanied by his own solo on that mandolin, and that song broke the place in.

It was obvious to me that the people filling that little brick room with the high ceilings were his fans, and they knew him well.

No one has a corner on the market of pain, or heartache. Brian expresses his without metaphor in “Gasoline.”
There’s a sense right away of trying to start over, and “make it right,” but not only does he want to get away from the past, Brian Travis wants to “pour some gasoline to make it brighter.”

He tells us he wants to take that past, and “burn down everything, start all over, make it right.”

I’m sure a lot of us would like to flash fry the past, and even though he knows he can’t, really, Brian seems to lash out at it, right before he turns to let it go.

His lyrics are thoughtful, at times powerful, and all the while he maintains a rhythmic and even folky sense of being open to the audience.

Those straight-forward lyrics can slap you around, as well as make you think. “In The State I’m In” is a perfect example, “If you leave me in the state I’m in, don’t you come back this way again. I’ve been drinkin’ since 10 am, and I got me a gun and I’m wasted.”

To just read those words, you think maybe he needs some help, but listening to it, they take on a sort of a classic, country, ‘lost my dog, lost my truck’ feel, and the song works.

As a stranger to his music, I felt right at home in the Muse Café, with a capacity crowd slinging jokes back and forth with Brian, and drummer Mark Wickliffe and bassist Steve Weil.

Brian Travis Band 2 Photo By Sean PatrickIt gave me a sense that Brian was truly writing his life, with all the laughter and life woven into the sometimes hard-hitting lyrics.

Songs like “Hate Bein’ Broke (hate workin’ more)” make the audience laugh right along while the bleakness of that sentiment hides.

One of my favorite things in hearing an artist new to me is coming away humming a melody or remembering lyrics.

I was singing that one to myself as I walked back to my car that night. It’s a great live song, because even if you’ve never heard it, by the end of it, everyone in the room is anticipating that refrain, and some are actually singing it aloud with him.

Visiting his MySpace page (/BrianTravisBand) will give you a good sense of his writing, but this is a band you’ll need to see in person in order to get the full sense of the melodies and lyrics, and how universal they are to an audience.

It really was a fun show, and I’m looking forward to seeing him play next time with a full band.

Sean Patrick is a blogger and music writer for WeHo News.


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Lindsey Horvath using official city logo to raise money in apparent illegal campaign move

Lindsey Horvath allegedly  using official city logo to raise money in apparent illegal campaign move

By WeHo News Staff, West Hollywood, California
(Updated at 3:05 pm, Thursday, November 2 – updated text is in italics.)

Incumbency sure has its perks in West Hollywood – a recently appointed incumbent and member of a three-person electoral “slate” of politicians seeking re-election in the Creative City is apparently using the city’s official logo and the City Council’s E mail marketing service to raise money and gain support for her first run at elected office.
WeHo News has learned that Lindsey Horvath, appointed by the West Hollywood City Council to complete the term of deceased former-council member Sal Guarriello, has allegedly used the city’s logo and the WeHo City Council’s official E mail list and E mail provider, Constant Contact, to seek both political campaign contributions and votes.

West Hollywood City Clerk Tom West sent an E mail to candidates for council earlier this week to warn them that the use of the city logo in campaign materials is illegal.

Furthermore, the E mails sent asking for campaign contributions come from a Constant Contact E mail list and template identified as the “West Hollywood City Council’s.”

The Abbe Land- and John Heilman-supported candidate announced her bid to seek office by popular vote alongside her running mates last week at Casden’s Movietown Plaza development, with former State Senator Sheila Kuehl and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky at her side.

It remains unclear whether her use of the logo was authorized by Mr. Heilman or Ms. Land, as neither answered calls for comment.

Ms. Horvath, too, did not respond to calls for comment.

The E mails appealing for donations to fuel her campaign for election not only apparently come addressed from the West Hollywood City Council, the footer of the E mails carry the West Hollywood City Hall street address, not Ms. Horvath’s campaign headquarters – an apparent mail drop on LA’s Westside at – 1531 Purdue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025 – Show on Google Maps

Ms. Horvath’s official campaign website is listed on the subscriber opt-in E mail as – West Hollywood City Hall.

Subscribers to the political campaign E mail blast see a page from the “West Hollywood City Council” thanking them for subscribing. Use the html copy of the “Thank you” E mail below to access that page.

Past-council candidate and political activist Ed Buck told WeHo News, “One of the most distressing aspects of this story is that Ms. Horvath has pulled a Palin and “did not respond to calls for comment”  when she was caught.  As a former candidate for WH City Council, I can tell you that the deck is stacked in favor of any officeholder.  When that officeholder steals city resources to campaign, they should not only not run, they should be forced to resign.”

John D’Amico, a former Planning Commissioner who is also running for city council, responded to the disclosure with the following statement.

“I have hired a professional campaign team. This election is very important to me and the residents, I work hard every day to earn the trust and respect of the voters.”
California’s election code prohibits the use of an official “seal” by a candidate. The applicable code, CA Elections code section 18304 reads (a) Any person who uses… any reproduction or facsimile of the..  seal of a local government agency in any campaign literature… with intent to deceive the voters, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

See html copies and screen shots of the E mails in question below.


Subscribers to appointed council member Lindsey Horvath’s electioneering/fundraising E mail list receive this confirmation from the WeHo City Council – and City Hall. Screen shot of E mail – for actual E mail, please send request to

Below this image is an HTML copy of the “subscriber update” E mail with live hotlinks.

- West Hollywood City Council
- -


-      Update your profile     
Valued Subscriber,
For your security, please use the following link to change your interest categories and/or personal profile information:


Update your profile

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us.


Lindsey Horvath West Hollywood City Council




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West Hollywood City Council | 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. | West Hollywood | CA | 90069

Appointed city council member Lindsey Horvath’s electioneering/fundraising website carries the city logo, in apparent contravention of campaign law. Screen shot of web page taken Saturday, November 27, 2010.

Appointed city council member Lindsey Horvath’s electioneering/fundraising website carries the city logo and subscribers are directed to an official West Hollywood City Council subscriber sign-up page. Screen shot of web page taken Saturday, November 27, 2010.

The proof of the porn is in the profound public health affects

By Ryan Gierach, WeHo News, West Hollywood, California




Pornography is, “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”
Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston and author of “Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality”




pornheaderpublichealthWest Hollywood stands with only a few other cities in its contribution to, consumption of, number of resident actors making their livings performing in or distributing or selling pornography.

Many in WeHo still proclaim pride in the Creative City’s historical bohemianism – and the resultant underground economy of alcohol, drugs, interracial public spaces, queer public clubs, nude dance clubs, gambling dens and brothels galore.

On the other hand, West Hollywood makes public health another chief notion, one borne out of the City’s intense experience with AIDS as one of the four hardest hit places in its beginning,

Suffice it to say that much pornography got made in West Hollywood, and even more has been viewed – but now WeHo needs to make amends for our role in contributing to a public health crisis that causes sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic assault, gender inequity, struggling relationships

You see, research published late last year adds significantly to the knowledge gained in studies in this century – and all point the same direction – they make a solid case for viewing pornography as a public health crisis.




utah anti-pornThe Utah State legislature – Republican-led, mind you – passed a resolution declaring pornography “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”

But the morals of watching porn never came into the discussion in a meaningful way. Nor did the local publications detect an ulterior motive.

The science piled up on the camel’s back until that last straw collapsed all denial.

According to Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston and author of “Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality,” writing in the Washington Post, the Utah legislature passed a measure asserting that pornography is, “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”

In her report, Professor Dines wrote, “The liberal backlash criticized the measure as an antiquated bit of conservative moralizing, with the Daily Beast calling it ‘hypocritical’ and ‘short-sighted.’”

Adding to that, a debunking web site named Rewire claimed, “The science just isn’t there.”



anti-pornThis researcher, though, begs to differ. Professor Dines asserts that the science came in over 40 years of peer-reviewed research – and it supports the Utah legislature.

The idea over two score years developed a consensus among scientists – “scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse,” according to Professor Dines.

The workplace is one of the primary points of trouble, she asserts, saying that “a 2012 study that examined 168 sex industry performers (67 percent were female and 33 percent were male), 28 percent were suffering from one of 96 infections.

“Even more troubling, according to the authors, was that the porn industry’s protocols significantly underdiagnosed infections: 95 percent of mouth and throat infections, and 91 percent of rectal infections, were asymptomatic, which, the authors argue, made them more likely to be passed on to partners both in and out of the sex industry.”

Since members of the industry have protested proposed safety measures requiring the use of condoms and other prophylactics, legislating to protect these performers has proven challenging with the battle moving to the courts – and the winner’s circle for condom advocates.



Condoms remain the best way to avoid STDs and AIDS, and although they seem to be used as often as on the past, increases in the number of sex partners leads to increased chances of catching an STD the times when condoms are not used.

Condoms remain the best way to avoid STDs and AIDS, and although they seem to be used as often as on the past, increases in the number of sex partners leads to increased chances of catching an STD the times when condoms are not used.

And you need not look far to find support for the notion – the AIDS HealthCare Foundation (AHF).

Through the years AHF has changed the way pornography gets made in Los Angeles County and California, with its mandate for pornography productions in the county now “settled law,” as they put it.

On March 29, AHF announced settlement of a lawsuit against LA County brought by several porn industry producers seeking to block implementation of Measure B, the “County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” that requires actors in pornographic films to wear condoms.”

The HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention organization believes that films featuring actors modeling unsafe sexual behavior encourages young people without adequate access to sexual education, especially gay sex ed, to have sex without a condom.

When Measure B came to the ballot in 2012, county voters saw things the same way, with 57 percent of voters giving it the nod.

Still, in 2013 some of the major porn producers Steve Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment, Califa Productions & others sought to block implementation of that law.



neon XXXTwo court decisions against them later, they agreed to settle matters with the County, which signed in late March an agreement with the pornographers setting up “a fee study to come up with a revenue neutral fee for their health permit,” according to AHF’s Michael Weinstein.

AHF President Michael Weinstein released statement that said, “The constitutionality of the condom requirement is now settled law, which is a monumental accomplishment. No producer can any longer claim that if they film without condoms in Los Angeles County that they don’t know that they are breaking the law.”

He expressed disappointment at the half-loaf left after negotiations between the county supervisors and the plaintiffs, saying, “While certain provisions of Measure B were overturned, such as surprise inspections and denying future permits to past violators,” he acknowledged enthusiasm – “the road is now clear for L.A. County to fully enforce the law.”

But that is but one step, he butts in to say.

Apparently the effects of watching pornography – especially all the free stuff online – pile up on one another, growing in the darkest rooms and places in our thoughts and emotions.

The sheer amount of porn seen in a year staggers the imagination – Pornhub, a free porn site, boasted in 2015  of 21.2 billion visits.




porn new drugA 2013 Huffington Post headline proclaimed that “Porn Sites Get More Visitors Each Month Than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter Combined.”

And the effect of all these hours of watching porn – usually alone – scientific research reveals threatens “the social, emotional and physical health of individuals, families and communities, and highlights the degree to which porn is a public health crisis rather than a private matter,” according to Professor Dines.

She passes along information on a number of studies conducted recently that show direct deleterious effects on society.

In a study of U.S. college men, researchers found that 83 percent reported seeing mainstream pornography.

That over four-fifths of respondent identified themselves as more likely commit rape or sexual assault (if they knew they wouldn’t be caught) than men who hadn’t seen porn in the past 12 months.

The same study found that porn consumers seem less likely to intervene if they observed a sexual assault taking place.

Professor Dines mentions “a study of young teens throughout the southeastern United States, 66 percent of boys reported porn consumption in the past year; this early porn exposure correlated with the same teens’ perpetration of sexual harassment in a follow up two years later.”


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neon strippersIn a “recent meta-analysis of 22 studies between 1978 and 2014 – from seven different countries – found solid connections between pornography consumption increased likelihood of committing acts of verbal or physical sexual aggression, regardless of age,” she notes.

And a 2010 meta-analysis of several studies found ‘an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women.’”

They don’t really mean it the way that sounds – the positive association means they match up, which isn’t so positive.

The consumption of porn perverts relationships; in a “2012 study of college-aged women with male partners who used porn concluded that the young women suffered diminished self-esteem, relationship quality and sexual satisfaction correlated with their partners’ porn use.”

However, the big news – and the answer to so many people’s question about how the hell kids are becoming sexual so early in life these days – sees the light of day in “a 2004 study found that exposure to filmed sexual content profoundly hastens adolescents’ initiation of sexual behavior.

Free Internet porn reduced the average age of first viewing porn to as young as 11 years-old, estimate some researchers.

“In the absence of a comprehensive sex-education curriculum in many schools, pornography has become de facto sex education for youth,” says Professor Dines, or a how to that removes the mystery that, before the Web, shrouded all things sexual in a deep shadow, lit only by initiation into a some carefully guarded fraternity or sorority.

Back though, to the modeling by actors in pornography; if porn educates our children on how to knock boots, the kiddoes are being ill-served.

The majority of porn denigrates women.


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pin-up-girls-07In one” content analysis of best-selling and most-rented porn films, researchers found that 88 percent of analyzed scenes contained physical aggression: generally spanking, gagging, choking or slapping.”

Verbal aggression occurred often – 49 percent of the scenes, usually with the woman the target.

“Men perpetrated 70 percent of all the aggressive acts, while women were the targets 94 percent of the time,” said Professor Dines.

The writer founded Culture Reframed, an organization she claims is “pioneering a strategy to address porn as the public health crisis of the digital age.

“We are developing educational programs for parents, youth and a range of professionals that aim to help shift the culture from one that normalizes a pornographic, oppression-based sexuality to one that values and promotes a sexuality rooted in healthy intimacy, mutual care and respect.”

Can we police porn, make people “act right?”

Making something a public health crisis can move mountains.

It seems unlikely to change people’s porn habits.






Prop 8 returning to CA Supreme Court

Asked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether or not Prop 8 sponsors ProtectMarriage had special rights to defend their initiative in the courts, the California Supreme Court today decided to accept the case.

The CA Supreme Court decided today to again take up Prop 8 and the issue of same-sex marriage. WeHo News

This will be the State Court’s third go around on same-sex marriage and Proposition 8, the initiative that stripped Californian gay people of the right to marry.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing an appeal of a lower court’s ruling in Perry V Schwarzenegger that found the law unconstitutional.

In a December hearing, the Appeals Court asked the CA Supreme Court to decide the state’s position on initiative backers’ legal standing to defend.

The court voted unanimously in closed session to visit the issue presented by the federal court: whether or not, in the absence of a defense by the state’s constitutional officers, proponents of an initiative have “legal standing” to defend their law.

The court set an expedited briefing schedule that could result in a decision “as early as September.”

The State Supreme Court ruled in favor of granting full equality to same-sex couples in June, 2008, but voters stripped them of the right that November.

The following year, the State Supreme Court rejected a claim that the initiative made illegal revisions to the state constitution.

All sides stand prepare to urge the state court to gran standing so the appeals trial can go ahead, as they both hope to take the case on to the US Supreme Court.

The federal appeals court said it would dismiss the appeal by Prop 8 proponents “on procedural grounds” unless the state court rules that ProtetMarriage has standing.

A dismissal would result in California same-sex couples regaining their right to wed, but would fail to influence events outside the state.

Only a decision for the plaintiffs seeking redress would be considered precedent-setting to the rest of the nation, guaranteeing a hearing on the unconstitutionality of state-imposed discrimination against same-sex marriage before the United State Supreme Court.

Horvath campaign: Forget assassination, what about 3rd world dictators?

When asked for clarification of a mention of political assassination by his candidate, Lindsey Horvath, made during last week’s candidate’s forum, Heilman/Land/Horvath campaign manager Dante Apollo Atkins Saturday charged the opposition with making more heinous comments.

Dante Atkins, an LA County Democratic official managing the Heilman/Land/Horvath campaign, demanded greater scrutiny into comments made by a challenger – and then failed to reply to requests for comment. WeHo News

He claimed that that challenger Steve Martin’s observation thatJohn Heilman, Hosni Mubarak and Robert Mugabe shared roughly 30 years in office was worse than Ms. Horvath’s comment and should be further scrutinized.

“I hope you’re asking the challengers why they chose to insert mention of ruthless dictators in the discussion,” he said. “Was that appropriate?

Steve Martin wondered what needed clarification.

“I don’t need to respond to my own comments about John Mubarak, I mean Heilman. I clearly have no reason to make any comment regarding remarks by Dante Atkins; they speak wonders for themselves.”

Scott Schmidt thought it unnecessary “to go that far… John Heilman’s record speaks for itself.”

Mito Aviles, who took exception to the Horvath comments connecting political disagreement with the Arizona shootings, told WeHo News he understood Mr. Martin’s comments clearly, “While I cannot speak for Steve Martin, I do not believe that Steve was trying to say that the incumbents were as oppressive as Mubarak.

“At the forum, Councilors John Heilman and Abbe Land essentially said that their over 20 years in office demonstrate that they are doing an effective job.”

Mr. Aviles said, “Steve Martin merely pointing out the absurdity in the incumbents’ statements. You cannot solely look at years in office as an indicator of effective governance.

“However, I still cannot understand how Ms. Horvath’s reference to the Arizona tragedy in any way relates to this election.

Mr. Atkins, an LA County Democratic Party operative and manager for the Heilman/Land/Horvath campaign, did not return calls or E mail requests for comment for this article.

Additionally, he failed to keep a Sunday morning telephone call appointment made 24 hours earlier.

Neither appointed incumbent Lindsey Horvath, council member Abbe Land nor Mayor John Heilman replied to requests to comment; neither did the challengers not mentioned here.

Horvath surfaces to address illegal use of city logo

Horvath surfaces to address illegal use of city logo

By WeHo News Staff, West Hollywood, California


After failing to return repeated
calls to her home on Saturday and Sunday, Lindsey Horvath called WeHo
News late on Monday afternoon to address questions raised in an article
published Saturday examining her use of the city logo on her campaign fundraising web site.

WeHo News has posted the entire six-and-a-half minute interview about the use of the logo at the base of this article.

In the taped interview, Ms. Horvath, an appointed council member
seeking election to that legislative body, repeatedly evaded or refused
to answer questions, often using the same answer.

She opened the interview with the following statement.

“I don’t usually check my mail every day, but when I got [the letter
from the city clerk prohibiting the use of the logo on campaign
materials], I asked my web designer to take down the logo immediately.”

She added that she was not aware of the “rule” regarding the
prohibition on using the city seal, or logo, on campaign materials,
saying “it’s not anywhere on the city’s web site that I could find.”

The CA election law covering the seal’s use resides on the State’s web site.

She did point out that the law referenced, CA Elections code section
18304 (which reads – (a) Any person who uses… any reproduction or
facsimile of the..  seal of a local government agency in any campaign
literature… with intent to deceive the voters, is guilty of a
misdemeanor) does not apply to her, because it “applies to misleading
people with the use of the logo, trying to make it look as if something
were official and I removed the logo – and that’s all I have to say
about that.”

When asked when she had read the state’s campaign law, she said, “I removed the logo when I was advised…”

After more questioning, the appointed lawmaker acknowledged reading
the state election law, however, she at first prevaricated and
ultimately refused to answer the question of whether she read the law
before or after she was told not to use the city seal on her campaign

Those answers included, “I feel that I’ve answered the questions that
I feel I will be willing to answer,” and finally, “I will not answer
that question.”

Ms. Horvath announced her intention to run for election as a lawmaker in July.

Below is the full interview re: the city logo.

Later this week WeHo News will publish part two of the interview, which dealt with allegedly deceptive information contained in Ms. Horvath’s political E mail
contact list that makes it appear the E mails are generated by the West
Hollywood City Council and includes the city’s official web address and
City Hall’s street address.


Click this image to listen to the audio file.
Stuart Timmons lgbt history header


Posted by Ryan Gierach, WEST HOLLYWOOD, California




Performance artists in colorful costumes take over the streets of WeHo to deliver a unique spin on the quirky, sordid history of “The Creative City.”




Stuart Timmons and the cast of characters playing historical LGBT figures during the Scandalously Sexy Saga of WeHo.

Stuart Timmons and the cast of characters playing historical LGBT figures during the Scandalously Sexy Saga of WeHo.

The Stuart Timmons’ WeHo LGBTQ History Tour is back by popular demand for its second run on Saturday, June 4, 2016 as part of The City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival.

The tour involves a diverse cast of twenty performance artists, musicians, and dancers including, singer/songwriter Jane Cantillon, renowned Broadway playwright Robert Patrick, drag artist extraordinaire Miss Barbie Q, and performance artist Kristina Wong, who is currently on tour with her hit one-woman show Wong Street Journal.

Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 2 p.m., wheelchair accessible shuttle buses will depart every 15 minutes from the West Hollywood Library.




One City One Pride - Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

One City One Pride – Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

After a short ride around the city, participants will then be dropped off for an easy urban hike, encountering performers stationed along the route enacting the information about each location.

The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.

You can find more details at

The tour was written by acclaimed author and historian, Stuart Timmons based on his research and his Lambda Literary Award-winning book “Gay L.A.” (Co­authored by Lillian Faderman and considered by many the quintessential tome on Los Angeles LGBTQ history).

Stuart planned the West Hollywood tour as the third in a trio of walking tours along with Downtown LA and Silver Lake in 2007, but was unable to finish it when he suffered a severe stroke in January 2008.

Stuart was in a coma for several months and it took several years of rehabilitation to recover; he maintains mental function but has impaired speech and motor control – to this day he uses a wheelchair and lives in a nursing facility.


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One City One Pride - Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

One City One Pride – Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

Jason Jenn met Stuart in 2013 and when Jason heard that West Hollywood was planning a series of special events to honor its 30th Anniversary in 2015, he approached Stuart with the idea to complete his unfinished tour for the celebration.

As a collaboration and under Jason’s direction, the tour has transformed from a self-guided walking tour, into a special event performance art production that takes place at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood’s central core.

It was a hit with audiences in 2015 and is back by request befitting the One City One Pride’s festival’s 2016 theme of “Into The Streets. “

“I’ve truly enjoyed working with Stuart on the project,“ says Jason.

“I thought I knew WeHo before, but I discovered just how much more there was to it.”

He credits Mr. Timmons with the enlightenment, saying, “Through Stuart’s engaging writing, not only did I learn more about the fascinating LGBTQ history of West Hollywood, but I’ve gained so much respect for the city and the collective struggles and creativity of the people that lived in it.


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One City One Pride - Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

One City One Pride – Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour

“It’s thrilling to witness audiences respond enthusiastically to the experience—what I’ve heard referred to as ‘epically entertaining’, and I look forward to more this year.”





Date: Saturday, June 4, 2016

Length: 90 minutes.

Wheelchair Accessible Time: Every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cost: Free!

Location: West Hollywood Library @ 625 N. San Vicente Blvd

Parking: Free! West Hollywood Municipal Parking Structure II just south of the West Hollywood Library.






Editor: A few personal thoughts
Years before I became a journalist, and then a historian, while schlepping by bus from Arcadia to UCLA thrice weekly studying history, I learned of Stuart Timmons’ book about Harry Hays the gay movement’s best original thinker and mover behind Mattachine, entitled, The Trouble with Harry Hay.
That book – Stuart’s book – changed my interest in the 11th and early 12th Century Norman/English Kings of England, Henry II, his Quean Eleanor of Aquitaine and their sons, Henry, Geoffrey, Richard Cours de Lion (Lionheart) and John “Lackland,” so named for squandering what was until then the largest continental empire since Charlemagne, and then handing the Crown’s powers to the noble families.
It led me to focus on the incredible, incredibly important and fundamentally different West Coast approach to the gay movement’s most successful activists – and because of the new focus I scored a job writing for Frontiers and then national gay advocacy publications.
By 2005, 10 years after leaving college, I’d met Stuart Timmons and published a couple of histories, not to mention founding WeHo News that year.
So, you see, it’s all his fault.




Stuart Timmons lgbt history header


manzial header

Former-Aggie-and-Browns QB Manziel accused of $32 K blowout in WeHo

By Ryan Gierach, WeHo News, West Hollywood, California




“Johnny Football” Manziel just lost his gig with the Cleveland Browns, so apparently came to West Holywood to blow off steam at a back-to-back pair of overnight parties – the result? “Booze everywhere… suspicious white powder on the table… broken glasses over the floor and a Champagne glass in a tree” and $32,000 damage




The partiers left the place a mess - and the host sleeping. Courtesy Page Six

The partiers left the place a mess – and the host sleeping. Courtesy Page Six

“Johnny Football” Manziel allegedly hosted a pair of back to back all-night parties in a rented in West Hollywood last week, according to Emily Smith of the New York Post’s “Page Six.”

The partiers enjoyed themselves, given the evidence the landlord claims to have stumbled across in the $4.5 million short-term rental, but they must have been very clumsy or drunk or stoned.

Ms. Smith wrote, “It’s claimed Manziel and his group left the house strewn with booze and drugs…”

Page Six posted some images of an after-party kitchen, some sort of “suspicious white powder on a table and an open bag of what is claimed to be magic mushrooms.”




Nice house - for $4.5 million. The owner alleges Johnny Manziel's partying damaged the house to the tune of $32,000. Courtesy Page Six

Nice house – for $4.5 million. The owner alleges Johnny Manziel’s partying damaged the house to the tune of $32,000. Courtesy Page Six

The noise compelled comedian Kathy Griffin, a nearby neighbor, to call the Sheriff’s Department.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel turned heads while he played for Texas A&M as an Aggie, with the Cleveland Browns drafting him two years ago.

Mr. Manziel, however, floundered “mostly due to his inconsistent play on the field and his partying, drinking and trouble-making habits off it,” said one sportswriter.

So maybe he figured he could salvage his career with two back-to-back Hail (Bloody) Mary extravaganzas.


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Real estate broker Nicholas Goodwin rented the house to Mr. Manziel, and listed “booze everywhere … broken glasses over the floor and a Champagne glass in a tree,” as part of his complaint.

Real estate broker Nicholas Goodwin rented the house to Mr. Manziel, and listed “booze everywhere … broken glasses over the floor and a Champagne glass in a tree,” as part of his complaint.

Real estate broker Nicholas Goodwin rented the house to Mr. Manziel, and listed “booze everywhere … broken glasses over the floor and a Champagne glass in a tree,” as part of his complaint.

But only the first part.

Apparently, someone wanted information from it, as the carpet showed evidence of wine and holes from cigarette burns; no one can say if they found out what they wanted, but evidence of their attempts apparently abound.

According to Mr. Goodwin, the frolickers “left wine stains and cigarette burns on carpets.”

The gambolers also broke a door.

And an expensive glass-topped table.


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We don't know about you, but none of us here can recall ever leaving a party before the "suspicious white powder" ran out.

We don’t know about you, but none of us here can recall ever leaving a party before the “suspicious white powder” ran out.

Mr. Manziel may not have done any of the alleged damage, but he got caught alone on the scene; the landlord claims to have woken Mr. Manziel a couple hours past the agreed upon time for his departure.

The photos show that none of his guests bothered to clean up, or even pocket the mushrooms or “suspicious white powder.”

That was a week ago, making matters worse, yesterday, on April 14, Drew Rosenhaus, a superstar sports agent, terminated his contract with Mr. Manziel – unless the trouble QB goes into treatment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Goodwin’s estimate of damage done to the home stands at $32,000, the number of dollar bills that will prevent him from taking Mr. Manziel to court, he says.




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WeHo candidates’ forum: Incumbents’ pride is arrogance to challengers

West Hollywood’s 2011 municipal election got off to a rollicking start last night when nine candidates actively seeking election gathered for a forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Nine candidates actively seek a seat on the West Hollywood City Council. Image by WeHo News.

The incumbents, both elected and appointed, expressed their pride approximately three dozen times through the night. They expressed pride in their accomplishments; they expressed pride in their endorsements and they expressed pride in their leadership.

The challengers expressed what they asserted is a community’s frustration with a council they say fails to listen to or dismisses constituents’ concerns about development and the close relationship between longtime incumbents and developers.

Opening comments revealed each candidate’s platform.

Out of the box first-time candidate and challenger Mito Aviles criticized the incumbents for their land use policies, close financial relationships with developers and distant relationship with residents, saying the incumbents only “feigned” attention to their concerns.

“The incumbents have consistently ignored the concerns of businesses and residents with approvals of massive developments and in their formulation of West Hollywood’s General Plan,” he said. “We must prevent unwanted development from pushing our businesses and residents out of West Hollywood.”

Incumbent Abbe Land bespoke her pride in the city’s accomplishments. “I love the city of West Hollywood, I think it is a great place and I am proud of the role I played in making it a great place.”

She trumpeted the city’s $125 million capital improvement campaign , its AAA bond rating and the city’s social service and affordable housing programs, asking voters to return her to office so that can all continue.

Appointed to replace deceased Sal Guarriello in May, 2009, 27-yr old incumbent Lindsey Horvath expressed pride in running for election.

She said, “I’m proud, also, to represent a new generation of leadership here in the community… I am proud to remain true to our city’s core values. I’m proud to fight hard for… I’m so proud to work hard to…”

She noted that her appointment to the council “came after ten years of grassroots leadership,” which indicated her love of working with people. She expressed more pride in the work she did on “opposing Arizona’s discriminatory SB 1070,” the LA County Rape kit controversy and “creating a more age-friendly community here in West Hollywood.”

Mito Aviles has run an anti-incumbent campaign for longer than anyone in the race, for nearly one year now. WeHo News.

Challenger and first-time candidate Lucas John asserted that “democracy seems to have left West Hollywood. Little by little, and year by year, the city comes to look more like conservative Calabasas and less like liberal San Francisco… It’s not democracy when the president gets only two four-year term and [Mayor] Heilman has been sitting here since 19879(sic), that’s a problem.” (Editor: John Heilman has served since 1984).

He chastised Ms. Horvath’s “selection” after only 18 months’ residence in the city, saying, “There is a problem; I want to know where democracy is.” He supports term limits, electing all council members and returning democracy to the city.

Mayor John Heilman responded immediately and directly to Mr. John’s assertions, saying, “I have been very honored to serve this city since 1984, and we do have democracy. We have elections all the time and I have been honored to be elected and re-elected continuously by the people of West Hollywood.”

He, too, expressed his pride in the city’s bond rating and strong financial base. He also held out the city’s capital improvement projects and the about to open library as evidence of his stewardship.

Challenger and first time candidate John D’Amico, a former planning commissioner, spoke of his love for a city “that has in the past had some remarkable moments. I think this is one of those turning points. It’s time for us to think about the past and move into the future.

“Our city is drifting. Our city’s drift towards bigger, faster, louder when it comes to development, that’s not what the citizens want. We have said over and over again to our city council, ‘bigger, faster, louder is not for us, yet traffic gets worse, the parking disappears.”

He said the city collects nearly $10 million a year in parking fees and fines. “Over 25 years we should have produced more than 400 parking spots,” he said to laughs from the crowd.

“This is not funny,” he responded, “this serious business. Elections are terribly important, and I believe this one is extremely important. A $50 parking ticket means a lot, and we don’t have a parking commission; you can’t be heard by a human being when you get a parking ticket.”

Mark Gonzaga, also a first time council candidate (he made an aborted run for Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees in 2005), announced he was self-funding his campaign, “because this is necessary.”

He said he is HIV positive and gay and sees “gays, lesbians and transgenders all over this city.” His primary platform includes helping renters avoid having to leave the city due to egregious harassment by landlords.”

WeHo News.

Transportation commissioner and first time candidate Scott Schmidt’s said “you should have a choice [for council] from the best among us,” listing his accomplishments on that panel. “I fought for seniors and taxi riders, I’ve worked to find solutions to our parking problems and tried to get West Hollywood moving again.”

The Log Cabin Republican also spoke about his grass roots political activism on the Subway to the Sea and on Prop 8. He wants to “keep the city a low tax city” while reducing the city’s reliance on “parking tickets and development to balance the city budget” and promised to prioritize public safety and social services above city hall salaries and pension benefits, and synchronize the street lights with Los Angeles’.”

Former city council member Steve Martin proclaimed his delight at such a large live turnout. “You’re not here because you’re really happy,” he said.

He said his activism dated back to pre-cityhood and stemmed from the fact that WeHo was “a progressive community. Unfortunately, our current city council does not reflect those progressive values,” he said.

He expressed pride in what he heard from the challengers, saying he hoped he “inspired a whole new generation of troublemakers,” saying that the council had “forgotten why they are there. City Hall no longer serve the people.”

He charged that “input from residents have been systematically excluded from” the General Plan document under discussion that proposes “a 20 percent increase [in height and density] and 7-10 story building along Santa Monica Boulevard, and basically, it’s a developer’s dream.”

In the questions portion, the first went to John Heilman, Lucas John and John D’Amico, or “the three Johns,” as moderator David Holtzman quipped, and inquired into the three candidates’ stands on the recently passed outdoor smoking ordinance and asked which revisions, if any, they might propose.

John Heilman, a proud co-sponsor of the bill, thought highly of it and felt only that private clubs should not be exempted.

Lucas John said that having a patchwork of laws applying to entities with common purpose “is not a smoking ban, it’s business discrimination.

“This has become a childish dictatorship,” by two longtime incumbents and “one who wasn’t even elected.”

Candidate John D’Amico (r) with West Hollywood Council member John Duran, who led the charge against the outdoor smoking ban ordinance. Mr. Duran has endorsed Mr. D’Amico. Photo by WeHo News.

John D’Amico thought about the smoking ordinance in the context of “…we’re all adults.

“We all leave our house knowing that there are things out there in the world we might not agree with,” he said. “Should we go to a restaurant where there’s outdoor dining and there is someone smoking, we can choose to not eat there, we can engage them in conversation, we can move to another table. The city is filled with adults who know who they are and know why they’re here. I’m really concerned that mommy and daddy are trying to protect us from things that aren’t really that scary.”

He summed up by saying, “This is an example of how our city thinks too much and doesn’t trust us enough.”

The next query went to Messrs. Gonzaga, Martin and Schmidt and pertained to the recession’s impact on the city’s retailers and what steps the candidate would take to improve the business climate.

Mr. Martin suggested a tax holiday but warned against reducing parking requirements for new developments. “We should not use the downturn to reduce our parking requirements and do things we wouldn’t normally do.”

Scott Schmidt said he sold his car in October, so walking around town he observes that part of the Sunset Strip, “if it were in the city of San Fernando, would be considered blighted.” He said the council has approved massive developments that go un-built, such as the Sunset Millennium, the James Hotel and the Sunset/Doheny building.”

Mr. Gonzaga said parking tickets and jaywalking tickets prevent people from patronizing city businesses. He cited the empty storefront as evidence that more development is unnecessary. He asked, “Why should we be opening up more stores when we have vacancies?”

Next in the inquisition’s progress sat Ms. Land Ms. Horvath, and Mr. Aviles; their question pertained to elections and was two-pronged: Does the city do enough to get out the vote and should the municipal election be moved to coincide with gubernatorial elections?

Ms. Land said she thought the city did a lot to get the vote out already, but could increase participation with an all-mail ballot system as has the state of Oregon. She said the city had always held elections in March and “it is up to us to talk about the issues and get people excited to come out and go vote…”

Ms. Land said the council Monday night voted to recognize Get Out the Vote Month, but said she was limited in her dual capacity as candidate/council person to effect an increase in turn out. “We need to do more to reach out to people, to help educate people about the issues and to get them out to vote.”

Lindsey Horvath. Photo by Devin Ford. WeHo News.

She said that so far as election timing, “that’s something that, if the community desires that, we need to hear it from the community and work with the community to understand when the community wants to vote.”

Mr. Aviles disagreed with the idea of vote by mail, but felt the idea of conjoining the municipal and general elections “is great! The reason voter turnout is so low and people are so apathetic is because these people have been in office for 20 years.”

Round two wanted to know what the candidates had to say about the proposed Measure A, Tax Billboard Act.

Mr. Gonzaga opposed Measure A on over-development grounds, as did Mr. Martin out of fear of the expansion of tall walls (Supergraphics) along Beverly and Santa Monica Boulevards.

Scott Schmidt believes Measure A is a special tax that could be spent by the city on things other than the promised increased social services.

To Mr. D’Amico on the budget threat to abolish redevelopment agencies – what would you do if the finds were lost to West Hollywood?

He pointed at a potential loss $7-$10 million a year in lost revenue and $54.5 million worth of projects in the works, saying, “Everyone knows that when you have a large pot of money,” he said, “the state comes looking, and our leadership should have known that that was going to happen.”

John Heilman said “we are actually facing a double threat left now; the state is threatening to take our redevelopment money away and the federal government is threatening to take away community development block grant money.”

He defended the $54.5 million reserve as required by law and lauded the Plummer Park redevelopment project.

Mr. John said he thought the redevelopment money should be invested in “façade renovations on commercial districts on the eastside that are rundown because they look terrible.”

The final question posed to three candidates referred to an alleged increase in crime and asked what the candidates would do about it.

Challenger and first-time candidate Lucas John. WeHo News.

Mr. Aviles said “allocating more funds to the Sheriff Department” in the wake of alleged decreases in funding for law enforcement would solve “the increasing crime rate.”

Ms. Land said she was proud to be endorsed by Sheriff Lee Baca, a fire fighters union and other Democratic Party first responder organizations and denied de-funding the Sheriff. “I am proud that we as a city… have not cut back our funding for the Sheriff. I am proud of our commitment to public safety and I’m proud to work with the Sheriffs to see that they have the resources they need to be successful.”

Lindsey Horvath said, “I am also proud to be supported by Sheriff Lee Baca and I am proud to have had the opportunity to have worked with him on securing finding to test every backlogged rate kit in Los Angeles County.”

She said the effort would be completed in the spring “because of our ability to work together and find that solution.” She listed endorsements from several individuals and organizations “that care about safety, because I care about safety, too.”

She cited her initiatives to increase revenue for Sheriff’s activity around the holidays and forming a Domestic Violence Task Force as evidence of her crime fighting accomplishments.

In the “reprise” round, candidates took an opportunity to address issues not previously presented to their set of three respondents.

Lucas John thought waiving temporary use fees to encourage retail landlords to sign short-term leases with pop-up shops would better utilize the vacant spaces lining commercial boulevards.

John Heilman agreed with the gist of Mr. Junkin’s thoughts, saying “We actually have done some of the things that have been suggested; we disapproved a procedure for allowing temporary art displays in some of the vacant spaces, we waived fees for temporary pop-up stores…”

He also touted last year’s Fashion Night Out, the Sunset Strip Music Festival and an initiative to turn a “vacant space on Sunset into a temporary park use with sculpture garden,” as evidence of the city’s efforts.

John D’Amico said, “Mayor Heilman, it sounds like we have an issue on which we can work together when I’m elected, because this needs to be the ‘Summer of the Pop-up store.'”

Mayor John Heilman during his swearing-in to his sixth term as council member in 2007. WeHo News.

He suggested a program through which West Hollywood might invite the world to come to peddle their wares on our famous streets without huge capital investments.

Ms. Horvath wanted to address the Tax Billboard Act, or Measure A, saying that she wanted to clarify because “it’s confusing in its language.”

She said “The first part may seem attractive, but… the city isn’t bringing this to raise money; it’s a billboard company that’s bringing this initiative forward wanting to raise money for themselves, and they’ll do that through the second part, allowing billboards to go up around the city…”

Ms. Land wanted people “to understand that redevelopment is a long process… and I am very proud of the work that we have done in this city in being good stewards of the dollars…” She noted spurring private investment and “wisely” building hundreds of affordable housing units and defended the city’s use of redevelopment agency funds.

Mr. Aviles felt that certification processes were “burdensome” and lightening the regulatory load on small business would help fill vacant storefronts. He asserted that city planners had not gotten sufficient input from the Russian speaking community regarding the impact of developing what he called “Plummer Parking Lot.”

Mr. Schmidt, for his reprise, wished to address crime in the city. “If you want to know what’s going on with crime, you look at the record of the incumbents.

“Look at the fact that, in the last two budget cycles, they cut the Sheriff’s budget by $500,000, look at the fact that, in order to save $250,000, they eliminated a nighttime public safety coordinator position. I think you want to look at the fact that, over the past decade, city salaries have increased 100 percent… increase on public safety has only gone up 50 percent.”

Mr. Gonzaga also took on crime. “I want to see parking tickets and jay walking eased off, not to scare people away. Unfortunately, there is crime and it frightens away some renters from going out at night. We need to make sure our city is safer and more sheriffs around the streets to watch people.”

Mr. Martin took on redevelopment by saying, “the city is probably not going to be able to keep those funds, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do great things. We just need to spend our money more wisely.”

He pointed at the cost inflation on the new library from $40 million six years ago to $64 million today. “What the city’s done in the last six years is add a bunch of expensive bells and whistles.” He decried employing one of the highest paid city managers in the county to manage one of the smallest.

“He gets a $500 a month auto allowance for a city 1.9 sq. miles? Paul Arevalo is very fit; we should probably get him a bicycle.”

Measure A, the Tax Billboard Act, would tax billboards here on the famed Sunset strip and allow their propagation along Santa Monica anmd Beverly Boulevards. WeHo News.

John Heilman addressed a question wondering if the Creative City could be more creative and if the city should don a new identity.

While he felt the city go further to encourage creativity in its commercial class, the city itself will enjoy two new spaces for artistic expression with the library’s completion and the Plummer Park renovation.

Mr. John thought “West Hollywood should be less like Calabasas and more like San Francisco; we need to support the arts.”

He mistakenly characterized the recent controversy over the City’s Tom of Finland Erotic Arts Festival as “banned;” the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission declined to sponsor the event, although the city council leant it its full support.

John D’Amico said, “Our “Creative City moniker was hard won; this city was founded on a collection of very exciting ideas that I think catapulted us onto the world stage. Unfortunately, our current city council has flattened our identity by abandoning the idea that this needs to be a place of attraction; that we need to attract young people and we need to attract new ideas.

“Currently, our city council is so tightly wrapped around a few people making so many decisions, that until we unwind that by bringing in some fresh ideas and fresh voices… we’ll be stuck with buildings like the library that I think that doesn’t rise to the level of world class buildings like the [PDC] across the street

“I think it’s just a parking lot [with a library attached],” he said to laughs and applause.

The next question wondered if the city spends too much on outside consultants and if residents are given adequate access to contracts through the RFP process.

Mr. Gonzaga said, “I want to see less development in West Hollywood.”

Mr. Schmidt said his experience showed a lack of respect for commissions when it came to contract spending, saying that staff took contracts straight to council without first having commissions weigh in on them. He called for greater commission oversight of consultant contracts.

Mr. Martin decried the “abuses” and “insider dealing” that underlies the status quo and that also fosters an “ends-oriented” approach by consultants.

“They know that if they’re going to be hired by the city of West Hollywood,” he said, “they damn well better come in saying that THAT development won’t gridlock our streets or that THAT property has no historic significance.”

Abbe Land. Photo by Michael Poles Photography. WeHo News.

Next on the list came term limits; the candidates were asked to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of term limits and propose other ways to foment turnover in local elective office.

Ms. Land does not support term limits, or even council turn-over, saying “we have elections, and we get to run on our record, and I think… the experience you acquire in office is what makes you a good leader… it’s the qualifications and the depth of knowledge that you have and your participation… I think that’s why voters vote us back into office.”

Mr. Aviles responded by asserting that longtime incumbents contribute to voter apathy. He also said that people “who have been in power for over 20 years need a political revamp,” calling for term limits to encourage new thinking.

Ms. Horvath decried the devastating effects of term limits, citing the loss of former-Assembly member and former-State Senator Sheila Kuehl’s services after her 14-year legislative tenure, asserting that “we couldn’t have elected our current governor, Jerry Brown, if he were subject to term limits. We voted him into office because he has the experience…”

Each candidate received a chance in another “reprise round” to address any of the nine topics raised during the evening.

Mito Aviles decried the lack of creativity on the Creative City’s governing body.

Abbe Land dismissed comparisons with Calabasas. “We are nothing like Calabasas,” and expressed surprise at how many artists she ran across while walking precincts, “that I didn’t even know about.”

Lindsey Horvath said she was “proud to help with incentives to the film industry, I was proud to support… the Sunset Strip Music Festival…” She encouraged further support for those events.

Mr. John found “it really ironic that Abbe Land would suggest that people run on their merits and people should vote, because, no one voted for Lindsey Horvath; she appointed Lindsey Horvath and she did not support democracy that day…”

John Heilman thought constituents had “a misunderstanding about the use of outside consultants.” As a contract city, he asserted “we constantly look at whether it’s more efficient or more cost effective to perform services in-house or to contract with outside agencies.”

John D’Amico proposed that the council provide public reports “of donations made by contractors that come before us.”

Mr. Gonzaga reiterated his “stance against overdevelopment, because it’s turning people out of their homes.”

Scott Schmidt referred to Ms. Land’s statement “that experience makes you a better leader…” led him to wonder why, when Ms. Horvath was appointed to council after 18 months’ residence in the city, “we don’t have a council member [John] Altschul or council member Joe Guardarrama.”

Both men have long residencies and extensive experience on the city’s Planning Commission.

He promised voters would get a vote on term limits.

Steve Martin turned Ms. Horvath’s comments around and said, “if we didn’t have term limits, Sheila Kuehl would never have gotten to the state legislature and Jon Perez would never have been Speaker [of the Assembly].”

Steve Martin. WeHo News.

Closing statements of 90 seconds brought summations from the nine active candidates.

Steve Martin heard “a lot of self-serving statements by the incumbents about how wonderful it is to have experience with leadership like Robert Mugabe, who’s been around almost 30-some years and Hosni Mubarak, who’s been around for almost 30 years… Lindsey Horvath was appointed; if Abbe Land believed in elections, we would have had one 18 months ago. Lindsey Horvath lived in the city 18 months before she was appointed, and she was appointed over a host of people who were more dedicated and more qualified than she was. Her appointment is an insult to all of our collective intelligence of all of us and to the integrity of this city.”

He said she was selected not for her qualifications, but so “she would owe her career to John Heilman and Abbe Land.”

Scott Schmidt recalled “how much the world has changed since 1984. In 1984 Ronald Reagan was re-elected president, the Soviet Union boycotted the Olympics, Dynasty was the number one show on television, the Los Angeles Raiders won the Super Bowl and John Heilman was elected to West Hollywood city council.”

He said the election would determine whether WeHo, in five years, “would look more like Beverly Hills or Calabasas or the West Hollywood you and I chose to live in.”

Mark Gonzaga told the voters to ignore the flyers they get in the mail and to make their own choices.

John D’Amico reiterated his assertion that “our city is drifting, and we need push to it slightly to put it back on track.” He promised an immediate increase in social service spending of $1 million “from our $102 million reserve” and greater transparency in donations to council members from people or businesses with business before the council.

John Heilman took his time for closing remarks to castigate candidates for spreading misinformation. “I think it’s really troubling when people come up here as potential council… members and don’t have their facts straight.”

He corrected the false assertion made about the Tom of Finland festival, “the library was approved, there were lots of public meeting and it’ll be a wonderful addition to our community.”

He cited over 50 meetings having taken place over Plummer Park, including a group of Russian-speaking residents he recently met with he said “are very excited about the improvements to Plummer Park. I’m very proud of the work we’ve all done collectively as a city.”

He feels “proud of the money that we invested in social services, it thrills me whenever we’re able to open up an new permanent affordable housing structure… I’m proud of the strong financial position we’re in, and I’m also proud of the relationships” with contract agencies.

Mr. John drew contrasts between his positions and the incumbents’, saying, “West Hollywood boycotted Arizona; I don’t agree with that. I believe in building bridges, not burning them.” He called the boycott purely symbolic and nakedly political. “We could have [instead] banned the sale of meth pipes along Santa Monica Boulevard.”

Mark Gonzaga. WeHo News.

He listed his platform as “against appointments of city council members… for free clinics, I embrace the arts… for more dog parks… police on bikes after 2 am… for democracy and for term limits.”

Ms. Horvath defended her appointment by pointing out that civic leaders encouraged her to apply for the position. She decried the recent violence in Tucson and said she sought to “bring people together.”

“I’m proud to work with those 38 people [who also applied for the council seat]; I’m proud to protect affordable housing, and I’m proud to work hard to earn your vote…”

Abbe Land reminded everyone that “I live here to… and I deal with some of the frustrations we all deal with, but I am very proud of the work I have done on the city council… I’m very proud to run on my record.

She bespoke pride in overruling “people who maybe didn’t want to build something, but I knew we could get affordable housing if we did.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done on the environment… I’m proud of the public projects we just approved… I’m proud of my commitment to providing social services to everyone in the community… I’m proud of my investment in our schools… I’m proud of the many relationships that I have, the endorsements that I have…”

Mito Aviles charged the incumbents with presenting “deaf ears” and blamed “its blatant attempts to promote ignorance” for voter apathy and called for term limits to put a stop to “pervasive corruption.” He promised to cultivate civic dialogue and effective democratic governance.

The candidates will once again gather to answer questions next week at a second candidates forum Wednesday, February 16 – 7:00 pm – West Hollywood Park Auditorium.


Christopher Street West is excited to announce the launch of its revamped Web site,
A leader in the LGBT community, CSW reaches millions through its site,
which builds on their work celebrating and connecting the community, and
their allies, by providing easy access to current and useful
information about all things PRIDE as well as other essential news and
important events.

wanted to design a fresh, exciting, energetic and colorful site
offering an easier and more meaningful user experience,” said Sam
Borelli, CSW communications consultant. “Working with the great team at
BOA, a lesbian-owned and operated web and graphic design firm, we
brought the site into the 21st century and beyond.”

the changes is more user-friendly access to the most up to date
information about the annual PRIDE Celebration as well as updated
current events and news stories relevant to the LGBT community. A new
feature is the ability to hyperlink to a particular page, allowing
visitors to easily share specific information. Additionally, there are
now tie-ins and faster updates to the social media activities.

More updates and current information will be added as Christopher Street West presents LA PRIDE on June 10 – 12, 2011.  



Street West is the proud producer of the annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE
Celebration in West Hollywood.  A 501(c)3 non-profit organization,
Christopher Street West is a leading partner in the advancement of human
rights, education, outreach and equality of the LGBT community. Lead by
a professional all volunteer board, CSW produces one of the largest
PRIDE Celebrations in the United States, and continues to be a leader
and innovator of all things Pride related. CSW hosted the world’s first
LGBT PRIDE Parade in 1970.

WeHo’s Fashion Night Out 2010

West Hollywood, California (September 20, 2010) – Cupcakes fed couture and art cravings as I began my Fashion Night Out at West Hollywood art gallery G 825, where Elizabeth Tobias served cupcakes as part of her art installation.

Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

“Let Them Eat Cupcakes” was her way of reminding us that on a night filled with art, design and fashion, many hungry in our city need food.

“One out of every ten people in Los Angeles, the second wealthiest city in America, goes hungry.” Abbe Land and Lindsey Horvath, both fashionistas and both champions of the underclass (and both up for reelection on the city council), were on hand as I sipped champagne and snapped a few fun shots.


Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

Champagne was to be the celebratory beverage of the evening, served up at all the boutiques on The Sunset Strip.

As twilight settled into night, I parked my car in the most commodious lot in our city, behind Le Petit Four, grabbed my camera and started shooting.


Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

At Catherine Malandrino, I got a “Sunset Plaza Passport Event” game card. The shop girl planted a star on a map of boutiques on the Strip. To play, I had to visit each store, have them put a star on their spot and once I filled the card, I could enter a fashion sweepstakes to win the grand prize, a trip to New York City.

What a fun way to cover the event. I added to the game by including a glass of bubbly in the many shops where I lingered.


Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

BCBGMAX debuted their fall collection, heavy on tall boots and big chains of jewelry. Nicole Miller was sweet.

At Vivienne Westwood, Alisa Parkin, struck a pose and showed off the sexiest dress of the night, with a great big fat ruffle that ran down her front like a phat lush surprise.


Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

Shoes with high, high heels were everywhere. At Calypso, a fashion consultant modeled a cute furry hat.

As the night ran out, I turned in my game card and walked down the boulevard, letting the giant fashion billboards and streaks of Sunset’s lights bedazzle me.


Photo by Phil Tarley Events. Click here to see full size image.

At Carney’s, I suddenly felt the need for another West Hollywood specialty, greasy but yummy chili cheese fries, with every thing on it.

I walked back to my car and drove home with a scarf I had bought as a gift, some cologne and skincare samples and a bunch of cool shots to edit.


LA Pride Parking and Street closures

West Hollywood, California (June 10, 2010) -[updated with late breaking parking information

1029 Larrabee Street – Just South of Sunset Blvd. – Behind the Viper Room

9040 Sunset – SE Corner of Sunset & Doheny DRIVE. BUS PARKING AVAILABLE TOO]

LA Pride in West Hollywood 2010 presented by Christopher Street West is this weekend!

Photo by WeHo News.

This year’s Pride weekend is Friday, June 11th – Sunday, June 13th. Following are the Festival dates and times, street closures, and parking information.

Dyke March – Rally | June 11th at 7:00pm | Located in the temporary lot in West Hollywood Park | at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevards | NOTE: This is event is FREE

The CSW Festival | Saturday, June 12th at 12:00pm until 11:00pm | Sunday, June 13th at 11:00 am until 10:00pm | Tickets can be purchased and printed online for $15.00, or purchased at the gate for $20.00.

The CSW Parade | Sunday June 13th – Begins at 11:00am | Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed from Crescent Heights to Robertson Boulevard.



Photo by WeHo News.

Friday and Saturday Special Event Parking Locations

Kings Road Parking Structure * $7.50 | 8383 Santa Monica Blvd

Hancock Parking Structure * $7.50 | 901 Hancock Avenue

Sunday Special Event Parking Locations

Kings Road Parking Structure * $15.00 | 8383 Santa Monica Blvd

Hancock Parking Structure * $15.00 | 901 Hancock Avenue

La Jolla / Havenhurst Lot * $15.00 | 1043 La Jolla Avenue

La Peer Lot * $15.00 | 623 La Peer Drive

Orange Grove Lot * $15.00 | 1114 N. Orange Grove Avenue

Pacific Design Center * $20.00 | Melrose & San Vicente (enter off Melrose)


Permit Parking Will Be Lifted City Wide During the following dates and times:

7:00AM Saturday, June 12th – 7:00am Monday, June 14th

NOTE: * All PARKING METERS will be enforced.



Photo by WeHo News.

West Hollywood Park | Closed 7:00am Tuesday, June 8th – Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

West Hollywood Library Closed Thursday, June 10th – Monday, June 14th, 2010

San Vicente Boulevard closes from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue

Thursday, June 10th closes at 7:00pm

Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to Doheny Boulevard (the parade route) Sunday, June 13th closed from 6:00am – 5:00pm

All side streets are included.



Photo by WeHo News.


Dayline Service Reduced (9:00 AM-3:00 PM)

Special Service* (7:30 PM – 3:30 AM)


No Regular Dayline Service

Special Service* (10:00 AM – 3:30 AM)


Special Service* (after CSW Parade until 2:30 AM)


(Santa Moinca Bouevard only between Fuller and La Peer Avenues)


Supermodel Ronnie Kroell: Exclusive LA PRIDE interview

West Hollywood, California (June 10, 2010) – BRAVO’s “Make me a Supermodel” winner Ronnie Kroell is not only this month’s PLAYGIRL centerfold, but also represents the magazine, Chad Hudson’s Palihouse Pride in Los Angeles benefiting in the Christopher Street West Pride Parade on June 13.

Ronnie Kroell Photo By Lope Navo. WeHo News.

We sat down with Ronnie to get the whole story, exclusively for WeHo News.

JM: How have things changed for you since BRAVO’s “Make me a Supermodel”

Ronnie Kroell: Make me a Supermodel (MMASM) – a simply marvelous experience and a great opportunity that led me to New York City, my Fashion City Wet Dream.

Since the show I have grown not only as a model, but as a person, as I have learned to overcome obstacles that come with opportunities, and more fully embraced the meaning of the tattoo on my arm: Confucius’ “wherever you go, go with your whole heart.”


Since MMASM I have not only met and worked with stellar fashion, music, and acting talent, I have been able to continue my humanitarian work started in Chicago before the show – I had a not-for-profit at 22, using art to educate around diversity.

I have also been able to continue my political activism with the likes of Mayor Bloomberg, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as well as the Statesman Supreme, Hillary Rodham Clinton who on the campaign trail in 2008 dubbed me her “Favorite Supermodel.”


PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. Photo courtesy Playgirl. WeHo News.

JM: Did you know this was going to catapult you into gay stardom?

Ronnie Kroell: On the stardom, generally, from BRAVO’s “Make Me A Supermodel,” I was so humbled and honored to be voted the “Fan Favorite” on the show. That said, if Holly Kiser should ever have to give up her crown, and be unable to complete her duties as MMASM Queen, I’d be glad to don her tiara.

Seriously though, it was immediately apparent that my MMASM fans were not just from the gay community, but also from allies; my MMASM fans are of all ages, genders and sexualities. Young teens, my contemporaries, fans my Sainted Mom’s age, grandparents – some of whom have actually become my mentors. I’ll tell you, the girls and women who wrote to me sometimes did so in some pretty graphic detail about the, … er, thoughts and feelings they were having about me.

The diversity of my fan base has proven not to be just an American phenomena: just last month, MMASM finished its first airing in the Republic of South Africa, and again, my fan base writing me was rich and diverse and welcoming and so very kind.


It so happened that my business partner was in South Africa at the time on doing some of our charity work in South Africa, and ended up coming home with many new Facebook friends, girls and guys, all of whom supported me.

Of course, the greatest privilege is to hear from young LGBTQ fans, and their parents, knowing that my story in some small way has eased their brave journeys to find their truths. I have letters here on my computer that can bring me to tears if I reread them. I feel so honored to be taken into my fans’ confidences, and I just love them.


PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. Photo courtesy Playgirl. WeHo News.

JM: What was your reasoning for posing in Playgirl?

Ronnie Kroell: It took me three months of close and intense conversation with my mentors for me to decide to tackle this daunting project. Not because of the work involved, or any potential fallout from the choice, but three months to suss out what I wanted this piece to mean. The fact that PLAYGIRL Magazine trusted me to conceptually and artistically explore my vision- sealed the deal.

While on the surface, posing for PLAYGIRL Magazine was a beautiful and exciting art project, I wanted to dig deeper. Speaking as the Political Science student that I am (here in NYC at The New School), I realized that this project offered me an opportunity to directly challenge American views of nudity and human sexuality.

I wanted to explore ways in which to challenge the status quo, and to start an intelligent conversation around how we, as Tom Ford recently argued, are perfectly willing to exploit and to find tantalizing female nudity, but that we are scared of the penis. What’s up with that? 49% of all Americans have one. BRAVO.

On a more macro-level, I wanted to look at our natural but unfortunate tendency to label ourselves – or attempt to – through labels of our clothing, or those of neat but often inaccurate labels about sexualities, and even race relations.


We use these stereotyping labels to try to order our perception of the reality around us, even when the labels are discriminatory, stigmatizing, and dangerous – often driving underground internal homophobia, shame and violence. My work here was to “drop labels” in every conceivable meaning of that construct.

PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. WeHo News.

Lastly, I was drawn to this project in order to advance my argument that we do not have “sexual orientations,” per se, but rather have “personal orientations,” based upon the entireties of who we are as spiritual, soulful human beings. I was recently honored by The Urban Dictionary’s publication of my “personal orientation” concept.

JM: How do you think your fans will react to your posing in Playgirl?

Ronnie Kroell: My wonderful fans have ALWAYS supported me, and know me all too well to be too surprised that I chose to work on this project. I can always count upon my fans to see into the meaning of what I do, rather than to just see the product I deliver. I can rely upon them to know I always have a purposeful underlying artistic, political, cultural and/or social value in my work.

This time around, with PLAYGIRL Magazine, as I mentioned above, I wanted “to drop” all my labels, and to expose that which we all have in common – our beautiful, vulnerable human bodies. We only get one body, which needs to be respected, and appreciated like the work of art that it is.


All too often we are taught that our bodies – particularly our nude bodies- and our associated sexualities are dirty and shameful, messaging with which I strongly disagree. That said, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and some will disagree with me, but, Ahh. … such is the beauty of democracy.

JM: Will you be “baring it all” are teasing us like Levi? Are you “standing at attention?”

PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. WeHo News.

Ronnie Kroell: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is on its way to being repealed, but until then I plead the 5th.

JM: What was it like posing for famed photographer Lope Navo?

Ronnie Kroell: Lope Navo is truly one of the most talented photographers I have ever worked with, as well as an incredible friend of mine. He is lyrical with line, extraordinary with light, and not only understood, but helped me shape the entire concept.

I was further blessed by having the artistic Rene Garza for styling, the visionary Hagan Linss for makeup and effects, and the Chic Sheridan Pennington – who gives the best men’s haircut and blow job the planet. Last but certainly not least, I had extraordinary trainers in Jeffrey Hamilton and Rob Andres, as well as Kirstan Clifford, my yoga coach, who helped balance and center our energy on the set.


JM: In one of the leaked Playgirl Photos there is a girl in the shoot.

Ronnie Kroell: I was thrilled that my Chicago-hometown friend, the dazzling Garnet Budd as well as DeMarco Majors, from “Shirts and Skins” (on LOGO), agreed to pose with me in some of the photographs. Of all the people I could have asked, these two individuals were the most beautiful inside and out – and smart too.


My entire concept underpinning the shoot was the celebration of all sexualities, and I was so fortunate that Garnet and DeMarco joined me in making this a gender, racial and ethnically embracing piece of work.

PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. Photo courtesy Playgirl. WeHo News.

JM: I understand you just set up your own charitable foundation. Can you tell us more about that?

Ronnie Kroell: My business partner, Stephanie A. Jones, JD, LLM, MPH, Esq., and I work with smaller, underfunded charities – which focus on public health education and promotion (“Hate Crime is HUMAN CRIME”) in underserved, marginalized populations.

We decided to start GeekNerdWonk Charitable Foundation (GNW) to “help (these) charities help themselves.” To be the beneficiary of GNW’s support, each charity must be personally vetted for institutional and leadership character by us.

GNW “helps charities help themselves” in three areas of support. GNW contributes funds, talent and volunteers to support GNW Charities’ own fundraising budgets, adds professional and academic credentials to complement the GNW Charities’ own professional expertise in applied field work approaches to public health education and promotion, and develops quantitative and qualitative research to provide the epidemiologically and methodologically sound statistical research to enable GNW Charities to write scientifically-supported grant proposals.


JM: Who is your celebrity crush?

I’m crushin’ really bad on this incredibly sexy, dreamy, chiseled actor, Taylor Proffitt. Mr. Proffitt is starring right now with debonair Alec Baldwin in the amazing Tony Walton-directed Equus at the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton. I can’t stop thinking about him, and have already secured my ticket for opening night.


You will be appearing at Chad Hudson’s Palihouse Pride Event. What exactly will you be doing there?

My day on June 13th starts with the honor of representing PLAYGIRL Magazine, Chad, White Knot, and the LGBTQA community in the Christopher Street West Pride Parade. I’m riding in a convertible with Stephanie, and but most excitingly, with Stephanie’s 81-years-young Mama, my “Grammy.”

PLAYGIRL Cover model Ronnie Kroell represents the magazine at LA Pride. Photo courtesy Playgirl. WeHo News.

Then I head to Chad’s event to meet up with old friends, and those who have supported me along my adventures. I’ll be signing copies of PLAYGIRL Magazine, to celebrate 40 years of the Gay Liberation movement, and to raise money for White Knot, which promotes through the symbolism of the “white knot” that peoples in love should have the right to marry, period.

This work dovetails with that I am supporting in New York City by Jamie McGonnigal who through is reminding us that Pride is about serious civil rights matters, and is not just a big party. Although we LOVE to party.

If we “sell” all PLAYGIRL Magazines sent to Chad’s, we’ll have raised $3,000 for White Knot.

JM: What is your favorite HOT SPOT in West Hollywood?

Fiesta Cantina – a beer and hotwings joint with outdoor space. A great time is guaranteed, plus there are always friends passing by to join the fun.

Last time I was the Cantina, my friend, the accomplished movie producer, Michael Gallant, meandered by and I snagged him off the street. Can’t beat the Cantina.


Joshua Miller lives deep inside the West Hollywood/Hollywood celebrity scene, and will keep WeHo News readers in touch with their neighbors who also happen to be celebrities.

For more interviews with our area’s HOTTEST talent visit:

Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Grand Marshals 40th LA PRIDE Parade in West Hollywood

West Hollywood, California (May 24, 2010) – Christopher Street West Proudly welcomes passionate advocates for human rights, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, as the 2010 LA PRIDE Grand Marshals for its 40th Anniversary Parade on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

Sharon and Kelly Osbourne will be 2010 LA PRIDE Parade Grand Marshals for the 40th Anniversary LA PRIDE parade, Sunday, June 13. WeHo News.

Kelly Osbourne announced to her 280,000 Twitter followers that she and her “Mum” Sharon are gearing up for this year’s LA PRIDE Parade.

CSW President Rodney Scott said, “The Osbourne’s meaningful support of the LGBT community goes beyond simply making appearances.

“Sharon and Kelly speak out for social issues that educate and encourage increased participation which carry out our mission of Pride 365, Power, Passion, Purpose,” he said.

Sharon Osbourne’s accomplished career in the music industry has spanned over 30 years, most notably managing Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne among many others.

In 1996 Sharon created the wildly successful Ozzfest is a successful manager, mother, author, producer, philanthropist, and most recently appeared on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” This summer Sharon returns to “America’s Got Talent.”


Sharon Osbourne’s accomplished career in the music industry has spanned over 30 years, most notably managing Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. WeHo News.

Sharon created and produced the first reality celebrity TV show, “The Osbournes”, which earned MTV the highest ratings for any of their programs since its conception and won a Primetime Emmy for Best Reality Show.

Sharon’s additional television credits include “Days of our Lives,” and “Will and Grace.” Sharon’s “Will and Grace” role came about during a benefit for The Trevor Project in which she bid $10,000 to support LGBT youth.

Sharon recently participated in the “Give A Damn Campaign,” which seeks to engage others to get involved in the advancement of LGBT equality.

Sharon has authored several books including her recent release, Revenge, and Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography. After beating colon cancer, she started the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation in association with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Kelly Osbourne is a television personality, singer, actress, author, fashion designer and model. Kelly currently writes a weekly column for the UK magazine Closer and can be seen as a special contributor for “Dr. Phil.”

Last year, she appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” where she and her partner came in third.


Kelly Osbourne is a television personality, singer, actress, author, fashion designer and model. WeHo News.

After bursting onto TV screens in the Emmy Award-winning MTV series “The Osbournes,” Kelly went on to star in the high school teen drama “Life As We Know It.”

Last year, Kelly released an autobiography titled Fierce which reached #1 on many of Amazon’s charts. In 2007, she made her debut as the youngest person ever to play the role of Mama Morton in the hit musical Chicago earning a coveted Theatre Actress of the Year Award.

Kelly’s debut album Shut Up!, was released in 2002 and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Her single “Changes,” a duet with her father, hit #1 on the UK charts.

Kelly Osbourne is an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and contributes to her mother’s charity, The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.


For more on the parade, festival and events surrounding Los Angeles Pride in West Hollywood, please got to