Newport Marine Claims Veterans Day Yellow Ribbon on Hollywood Sign Tied Up in Red Tape
A Newport Beach Marine and his unusual request are at the center of a Veterans Day dispute with a Los Angeles city councilman.
David Weiss, who was a jarhead from 1981-86, wanted to put a yellow ribbon on the legendary Hollywood sign to honor U.S. veterans today.
Cost of the mission: $11,000.
Weiss, 48, reportedly says he had a handshake agreement with Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge to get the ribbon up by today.
LeBonge counters that he has a different memory of their meeting, that the councilman merely offered to connect Weiss with the Hollywood Sign Trust that reviews requests for displays on the sign.
"I can't give that approval," LeBonge tells the Los Angeles Times. "I think he misunderstood. He was a very enthusiastic individual."
The politico also confides to the paper something he apparently did not confide to Weiss: that he figured the request was being made too late to get approved by today--Veterans Day--and that it might violate city sign ordinances anyway.
He also claimed to make an offer the onetime Marine did not like: mounting a yellow ribbon on LA City Hall.
Enter Los Feliz apartment owner Tomas O'Grady, who also happens to be one of five candidates seeking LaBonge's council seat. O'Grady joined Weiss and a small group of demonstrators carrying signs that read, "Yellow Ribbon vs. Red Tape" outside City Hall Wednesday.
Saying he took up the issue because it reflects a need to change the sign-request process in La-La Land, O'Grady told the Times, "This might look like me jumping on a political bandwagon, but it's anything but."
Meanwhile, Weiss explained why he was anything but excited by LaBonge's offer to tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old City Hall.
"I appreciated that there was some gesture made, but it was a difficult gesture to maneuver," he tells LA's paper of record. "I'm talking about putting a fabric on a hunk of tin in the middle of the mountains. That is infinitely easier."