OP/ED: Name the library after ‘the father of WeHo’

It’s true that what I consider Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ego-driven refusal to retire when she was gently urged to do so by President Obama, literally changed the course of American history — and for the worse, I might add.

When reminded of this by others, the great RBG said “Who do you think President Obama could nominate that could get through to the Republican Senate?  Who would you prefer on the court other than me?”  In other words, “Who can do it as well as I can?”  I think it was reasonable for a president to ask a sitting justice in her 80s, in very ill health, who had four bouts with cancer, to agree to step aside to make way for another liberal Democrat, but who was much younger, to be appointed to that critical seat. 

RBG’s opinions, positions and accomplishments on the SCOTUS are indeed legendary. However I believe her refusal to retire at a more appropriate time for the good of our country, has left a negative footnote on her illustrious legacy, that is irrevocable.

That said, it is not, for that reason, that I don’t think naming the West Hollywood Library after RBG is fitting or appropriate. It’s like putting a very large fish in a very small pond; it simply doesn’t fit. RBG’s reputation and image are national, if not international, and I think it would be far more appropriate for her to be honored on a U.S government building, say in Washington D.C., or a building in her hometown, county or state, but I think that naming a library after her, in a tiny town on the other side of the continent, is a stretch, but not atypical of West Hollywood’s ofttimes delusions of grandeur. There are too many activists who were directly responsible for the creation of West Hollywood as a city who could and should be so honored. Ron Stone is among the most prominent.

The L.A. Times said in Ron Stone’s obituary, the following:  The late Ron Stone was the major architect of the incorporation drive that made a city out of the community of West Hollywood.  (West Hollywood was treated at that time like the abused stepchild of the county)  Known (very early on) as “the father of West Hollywood”, Stone was (very) instrumental in turning the 1.9 square mile wedge of unincorporated L.A. County into the first American city to be governed by a gay majority. “Without him, it wouldn’t have happened,” said West Hollywood City Councilman John Heilman.

RBG ‘s work for her country and her prominence on the SCOTUS is known far and wide, and her memory is honored and respected by tens of millions of Americans. Her name will be indelibly etched in the annals of American history, biographies and other books will be written to keep her name and great work alive through time, most deservedly so..

Ron Stone is barely a footnote in what is written about West Hollywood history, although he is one who has earned and deserves to be honored for doing the impossible — planting the seed of a “new city” that not only came to fruition but has blossomed into arguably the most high energy, colorful creative, trendy and forward-leaning destination city in California, if not the country.  It would be a great way to acknowledge and honor the man who is called “the father of West Hollywood” by naming the library “The Ron Stone Library”, the man who successfully undertook such a monumental task, that I’m sure can be boasted by very few private citizens anywhere at any time.  

By Woody McBreairty

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JF1
JF1
8 months ago

Name it “West Hollywood Homeless Shelter” cause that’s what it is.

Last edited 8 months ago by JF1
Rick Hernandez
Rick Hernandez
7 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Thank you Joshua88 for posting under fun facts. The photo of Ron Stone was taken by me at my friend Michael Marders law office in Beverly Hills for Ron’s bid at running for city council. It seems odd to me that I have seen only a handful pictures of Ron anywhere. Oh wells.

DesertBob
DesertBob
8 months ago

Yeah, gee, thanks, Ron, for screwing up a nice, funky part of the county that people enjoyed living in, turning it instead jnto a den if drugs, crime, profit gouging and political corruption.

I’d rather have the library renamed for Moe Sherman, the REAL father of West Hollywood, than his clown.

pat russ
pat russ
8 months ago

Gonna name it after a guy–you know, BOYSTOWN.

Thom Cook
Thom Cook
8 months ago

What about The Keith Kaplan Library of West Hollywood’? After all, he’s done so much for the city, plus he’s way cute. No? Okay. Back to the drawing board.

Ernesto Sportello
Ernesto Sportello
8 months ago

Making Weho a city was the greatest mistake I’ve ever seen. All it accomplished was opening the floodgates for developers, eliminating affordable housing and turning Weho into the unlivable shit show it’s become. Why honor developers?

Last edited 8 months ago by Ernesto Sportello
Mike Carter
Mike Carter
8 months ago

“The West Hollywood Public Library” makes sense. That’s what it is and it belongs to everyone and that name makes it seem so. Wings, rooms or areas of the building or outdoor sections could memorialize individuals, eg, The Ruth Bader Ginsberg Reading Room.

Crusader
Crusader
8 months ago

My proposal is to name it the Valerie Terrigno Library because when elected to the WeHo council, she became the first openly lesbian mayor of an incorporated municipality in the United States!

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
8 months ago
Reply to  Crusader

Wasn’t Ms. Terrigno forced to resign her position because of embezzlement? Might as well name the library after Richard Nixon.

Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
8 months ago
Reply to  Rudi Logan

lol

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  Rudi Logan

Sadly, you have a good memory. There was an issue of several thousand dollars of “mis-spent” money from a non-profit that was relative chump change. But the Regan Administration came down on her as if it were the crime of the century because she was the only lesbian mayor in our galaxy. It was tragic, both for Valerie and the City.

J Simmons
J Simmons
8 months ago

I thinking renaming it the “Prancer Memorial Library” after 16 glorious years my beloved dog Prancer lived with me in weho and frequented streets, parks he loved to walk all around weho, including weho park, and in the heat of the summer, he would love cooling himself on the white marble flooring just outside the glass entry to the library. He was the most special dog ever and very well know in WeHo.

Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D
Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D
8 months ago

The West Hollywood Library does not need to be named for anyone. What’s next? Naming the dog parks? As an historian I oppose these memorializations unless there is some heroic connection of time/place.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
8 months ago

Dr. Geltmaker, as an historian, how would you recommend remembering those significant figures throughout history that had a significant impact worth remembering, if not through naming buildings or spaces after them?

Ryan R Gierach
8 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

I think you guys are both onto something.
We should revert everything back to the true city founder’s name.
Moses Sherman.
City, parks, schools, all the streets (numbered east to west) and yes, the library.

Born&RaisedWeHoGay
Born&RaisedWeHoGay
8 months ago

Bravo! Life was so much simpler when a place was named for what it was and where it was ….

Patricia Dixon
Patricia Dixon
8 months ago

I think it should be The West Hollywood Library, and if names are to be memorialized, why don’t we name the rooms in the library after people. I did not know about Ron Stone; I thought John Heilman was very instrumental instrumental in creating the city of West Hollywood. I am sure many people were involved, so maybe a large plaque in gratitude to all those who worked hard n behalf of Weho. I did prefer the RBG naming, but if not that, then let’s keep it as it is.

Robin
Robin
8 months ago
Reply to  Patricia Dixon

Heilman was one of many of a large team who worked hard to get cityhood & rent control on the ballot then to get people to vote for them. Ron Stone, as this article makes clear, is widely considered THE founding father of West Hollywood. Heilman was one of many & does not deserve to have his name on our library any more than any of the others who are also known “founders”. He paid to have his name etched on a lucite “wall” inside the library & that’s well & good. Full stop

Pat Dixon
Pat Dixon
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin

I was not implying the library be named after John Heilman. I suggested a plaque with many of the names of people involved be placed inside. I did not know of ron stone until very recently and I have lived in weho for 19 years. Yes, I think rbg’s decision to stay on the court had dire consequences buti am not naive to to think the Republicans would have considered any name president obama would have put forth. Remember Merrick Garland.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Robin the difference is that John Heilman went from one of our founders to be instrumental in ensuring the West Hollywood Library was built. Ron Stone sounds like a fine choice to name the library after, but there’s no need to diminish the significance John Heilman’s efforts have had in bettering this City.

Robin
Robin
8 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

Heilman was ONE member of a 5-member City Council who voted to approve the process. so all 5 were partners in getting the library built. Heilman did not have the power or ability to do ANYTHING as a Councilmember on his own. Nor did Heilman contribute financially to building the library. There is no reason to name a building after Heilman for simply doing his job, as the other 5 members did – & the many other people involved in the process did as well.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Robin, my comment was more of a request than argument – a request not to diminish the significance of John Heilman’s efforts in helping get the library built. I realize now you weren’t intentional but that you just don’t know the role he played. I do apologize for the misunderstanding.

Ryan R Gierach
8 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

Oh, the halcyon days. When John and Abbe sat on the naming committee and the comm nearly named it for John – but for the leak and the news report and the public outrage that left it unnamed until now.
John did work hard to build it. It was his lifelong goal. Once built these spent as much time there is any single person.
Still, it should be named fore somebody suffering from rigor mortis.
Best person of local significance. Ron Stone’s impact on West Hollywood is greater than anybody else’s, living or dead.

Robin
Robin
8 months ago
Reply to  Ryan R Gierach

Actually it wasn’t his “lifelong goal.” If I remember correctly, Heilman wanted & tried to have a community center of some kind built there & failed. Next up: Library. That’s hardly “lifelong”

Ryan R Gierach
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin

It’s a good thing you have the time to quibble on such minor and inconsequential details.
Good for you Robin whoever the hell you are.

My Vote
My Vote
8 months ago

Ron Stone

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