President Barack Obama is back in town for one day next week, and this time it's West Hollywood's turn to gird their loins for the inevitable onslaught of road closures and traffic jams -- as well as all the paparazzi following the celebrities into high-priced fundraisers.
As usual, the people of Los Angeles will have to wait until the day of his visit, Monday September 26, before receiving any information on road closures related to the President's schedule (and that's the way the Secret Service wants it). But if we had to guess, we'd advise all evening commuters to steer clear of West Hollywood completely that night.
At least one nearby school is adopting that strategy. The Center For Early Education, located nearby to Obama's dinner event, has this pop-up banner on their site: "CEE WILL BE CLOSED this coming Monday, September 26 due to a Presidential visit in the West Hollywood area. THERE WILL BE NO DAYCARE. We regret the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation." The Huffington Post also contacted nearby Rosewood Elementary, but administrators are not releasing any plans to the media about contingency traffic plans for that day.
Other businesses in the chic Melrose Place shopping neighborhood were still mulling the decision to keep their doors open on Monday. Check back in with The Huffington Post next week for a longer story of the impact of the Obama's visit on local businesses.
Here's the President's full schedule, and on Monday we'll be running a liveblog of road closures, traffic alerts, and any little bits of gossip about his fundraisers!
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Monday, September 26th, 2011
What: A lunch in San Diego
Hosts: Elizabeth and Mason Phelps
Where: The Phelps Home in La Jolla, California
Who: 160 attendees total
Price: $5,000 per person or $25,000 in raised donations gets a General Admission ticket, $10,000 per person or $50,000 in raised donations gets a photo with the President, and $35,800 per couple or $100,000 in raised donations lands you an "event co-chair" title.
What: Obama Victory Fund 2012 Concert
Host: Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC's 'Modern Family'
Where: House of Blues, 8430 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Who: 1,200- 1,500 people are expected.
Price: Starts at $250 per person and goes up to $10,000 per person. People that pay either $10,000 per person or raise $50,000 get a VIP designation and a photo with the President.
What: Obama Victory Fund 2012 Dinner & Discussion
Where: Fig & Olive Melrose Place, 8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Who: 100 people expected
Price: $35,800 per couple or $17,900 per person. If you give enough for one half-table (five people) at $89,500, you get one extra seat and a co-host designation. If you give enough for one table (five couples) at $179,000, you get an extra two dinner seats an an event co-chair designation.
Hollywood's Lukewarm Reception
Perhaps the celebrity crush won't be as big an issue as in visits past. Obama's presidency has been perceived as disappointing to some major Hollywood supporters, and they are making their voices heard by withholding checks and star power.
Some Hollywood donors who "maxed out" last campaign season (George Lucas, Barbra Streisand, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross) have yet to fork over anything, reports The Wrap.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the performance line-up for one of Obama's fundraisers takes place at the House of Blues and features " B.o.B., Adam 12 and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles" -- as opposed to the last campaign's Stevie Wonder performance fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey's Montecito home.
Adding to the lukewarm welcome is the fact that Obama's Playa Vista campaign office was vandalized and trashed yesterday evening. The Secret Service and the FBI are involved in the investigation, reports the Associated Press, and police Cmdr. Andrew Smith believes that the attack was "politically motivated" because no other buildings in the usually low-crime neighborhood were hit.