Adjournments are made before each city council meeting to honor the passing of a beloved resident, or relative, or fallen heroes. In the past City Council members have read the names fallen victims to at Pulse Nightclub, Club Q, or the Iraq war, a cop who lost their life in the line of duty and so on.
At this past week’s city council meeting Council member Horvath gave a beautiful tribute to community resident Edward Levin. It was a touching moment for many who knew Levin over this lifetime and the many contributions he made to the City of West Hollywood. Shortly there after it was Council member Shyne’s turn. Shyne then gave an adjournment motion for Etta James, the beloved dog of Anna Goodman. The contrast in style and substance was clear to many who watched.
It was a beautiful moment to reflect on the life of Ed Levin which literally went to the dogs when Sepi Shyne started to speak. Should city council meetings adjourned in the name of a pet? Should an entire city council meeting, all the residents and city staff, and city business be placed on hold to discuss the loss of a pet?
ED LEVIN — by Councilmember Lindsey Horvath
I’d like to adjourn tonight in memory of West Hollywood’s own Ed Levin who was born October 22nd, 1952, in the city of Schenectady, New York. Recently, he celebrated his 70th birthday. He was a professional architect for 49 years based here in West Hollywood. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell and Master’s degree from Harvard University and taught at the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. At Harvard University early in his career, he formed a partnership, Leavenworth with his late wife, Ellen, and relocated to L.A. in 1981. Eventually making his way to West Hollywood, he worked for several years with Barton Myers and Associates in Los Angeles, where he met his current business partner, Jorge Narino. After many years working together, he and Jorge partnered together these past eight years. His extensive knowledge of art, architecture, music history, philosophy, law housing policy, politics, vintage cars and innumerable other subjects was remarkable. He was even once a contestant on Jeopardy, a passionate collector and efficient model of classic cars including his beloved 1978 Lancia Fulvia HF. One of HIS favorite hobbies was to read Federal and California Supreme Court decisions — a surprise to no one in this room. He is known locally for his architectural work, including number of residential and mixed-use buildings in West Hollywood Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. He served on task forces and advisory groups and as a leading voice and helping to develop West Hollywood’s green building ordinance. He regularly wrote me names to local and state officials helping to craft housing policy and code that was at once fair, thoughtful and logical. Ed was an incredibly principled person and strove for excellence in all that he did. His adherence to his principles commanded the respect of others always even when they might have disagreed with him. He served the city for at least 17 years as a commissioner on West Hollywood’s Historic Preservation Commission and helped guide efforts to survey the city’s historic past. And also served for several years. On the Beverly Hills Architectural Review Board, he had a passion for historic structures and lived in Bryant’s 1928 RomanesqueVilla a Spanish colonial style apartment building on North Harper Avenue. A small firm practitioner, he also made time to serve for the past two decades on the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee. Ed was the sole caretaker of his late wife, Ellen, for the last 20 years of their marriage until her passing in 2019. After Ellen passed, Ed had a new lease on life with his forever life partner and fiancee Roberta Taper. They immediately clicked and soon began splitting time between her home in Hermosa Beach and Ed’s in West Hollywood. They joined their households, introducing their four cats to one another, traveling across the country to spend time with their family and making plans for their future together which included retirement, travel and relocating to Hermosa Beach. Ed regularly remarked to his friends that Roberta was the best thing that could have happened to him. The change in him when they met was palpable. His biting wit and sarcastic sense of humor was a comfort to anyone who knew him. Well, How are things going, Ed? Oh, the usual insanity. He always remembered birthdays and special events and was never too busy to take a phone call, answer a question or explain a complicated subject. Ed’s tragic passing is the loss of a true light in this world to his friends and institutions upon, which are communities and society rely. An incredible, thinker, writer, professional, friend, and partner, he will be missed by all who knew him. Ed is survived by his fiancee Roberta his mother Virginia and his business partner Jorge Moreno. We all strive to live our lives with the standards that Ed had to be selfless, to be of service, to be excellent, and to be kind. Thank you. Thank you, Councilmember Horvath.
ETTA GOODMAN by Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne
I’m adjourning in memory of Etta Goodman. Etta Goodman is a resident and a Goodman’s was Anna Goodman’s beloved dog. She was adopted by Anna Goodman on August 14th, 2015. She was an adorable, black, 10-pound poodle Chihuahua mutt who loved being held like a baby. Etta lit up the \ lives of so many in our community as Anna often brought her to countless parties, the WeHo dog park and gatherings around her home. Etta actually participated in our Pet Week costume contest that we had last year. She didn’t care for other dogs much, but lived for the love and affection from all humans. She was a mascot for Jewish Queer International and often visited Blaze Hair Salon to see Patty and Robert. She’ll be remembered as a very sweet and submissive cuddly pup who loved dried liver snacks, her cat brother Billy and humping her favorite ducky toy every morning after breakfast. May her memory be a blessing. Thank you