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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obama motorcade returns back through Beverly Hills, traffic begins to clear on the Westside - Beverly Hills Courier, Beverly Hills Newspaper

Updated Monday August 16, 2010 - 8:09pm

By Brenton Garen, Beverly Hills Courier

President Obama's motorcade passed back through Beverly Hills at 8:05pm on Monday night as he returned from a function in Hancock Park.

Olympic Blvd has now re-opened - traffic chaos had unfolded on the Westside since about 5pm.

All lanes of Olympic Blvd had been closed between Century City and Hancock Park - between Century Park East and Western Ave.

The motorcade first passed through Beverly Hills at around 6pm.

Motorists had also been creeping along major streets like Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards, according to a Beverly Hills Police Department dispatcher.

The Los Angeles Police Department and Metro did not release other specifics of street closures, citing a request from the Secret Service for security reasons.

Signs were posted at bus stops on closed streets to advise riders where to go, Metro's Gayle Anderson said.

Obama was in Hancock Park at the home of television producer John Wells at two fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was also scheduled to speak at the events benefiting the official campaign arm of Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Tickets were $2,500 per person for the cocktail reception.

The cost to be a co-host is $30,400 per couple, which includes the cocktail reception, a photo with Obama and a co-host dinner.

Co-hosts for the event include director Steven Spielberg, entertainer Barbra Streisand,  DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg, producer-director J.J. Abrams, Warner Bros Entertainment President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn and Tom Unterman, founding partner of the Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Rustic Canyon Partners.

Wells' credits include "The West Wing,' "ER' and "China Beach.'

He is president of the Writers Guild of America.

Air Force One arrived at Los Angeles International Airport about 30 minutes ahead of schedule this afternoon.

The president was taken by helicopter to the Brentwood area and then to the Beverly Hilton.

This will be Obama's fourth trip to the Southland since taking office, the last three of which have been exclusively for political fundraising.

- Additional reporting CNS

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