Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- May 2017


Santa Monica City Council Calls for Safe Streets “Czar”
May 11, 2017 -- Rattled by five pedestrian fatalities in as many weeks, the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday ordered faster action on a sweeping re-design of city streets meant to embrace pedestrians and bicyclists and chase vehicles off car-clogged streets.

The Statistics Behind Santa Monica's Pedestrian Deaths
May 11, 2017 -- Pedestrians and bicyclists account for approximately two-thirds of all severe injuries and fatalities sustained in traffic accidents on Santa Monica's busy streets, Police Department statistics show.

Special Committee on City of Santa Monica Employee Pay and Benefits Approved
May 11, 2017 -- Creation of an ad hoc committee of residents to help guide an internal review of rapidly rising salaries and benefits for City of Santa Monica employees was approved Tuesday by the City Council.

Santa Monica's Homeless Population Highest in a Decade

Homless man in Palsades_Park May 10, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s homeless population this year totaled 921 people, the largest number counted in a decade and a 26 percent jump over last year, according to the City's 2017 homeless count released Tuesday. The count reflects a significant increase that upends years of stagnant to declining numbers and is the highest number of homeless individuals counted in the beachside city since 2007

Pro-Santa Monica Airport Aviation Group Finds Encouraging News in Court of Appeals Rejection
May 10, 2017 -- Last week, a U.S District Court of Appeals rejected a pro-Santa Monica Airport organization’s attempt to immediately halt a consent decree to close SMO by 2028, which would dramatically curb jet traffic in the interim by shortening the runway.

Santa Monica Art Lab Showcases Textile Art
May 10, 2017 -- Those interested in textile art have plenty to opportunities to learn the craft at the Camera Obscura Art Lab through July, City officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Fire Displaces 120 Tenants, Five Businesses
May 9, 2017 -- A fire that broke out Monday evening in a mixed-used project near Downtown Santa Monica temporarily displaced 120 tenants and closed down five ground-floor businesses, Fire Department officials said.

New Lawsuit Seeks to Invalidate Santa Monica Airport Consent Decree
May 9, 2017 -- A student pilot and a certified pilot are asking a court to invalidate a consent decree between the City and federal government to shut down Santa Monica Airport, contending the City violated the state’s open-meetings law, the California Constitution and the City Charter.

Santa Monica Set to Renew Free Bus Rides for SMC Students and Staff
May 9, 2017 -- Hoping to expand flagging ridership for its municipal bus system, the City of Santa Monica is set to continue offering free bus rides to students and staff at Santa Monica City College, although SMC will provide reimbursement.

Picture of Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks Santa Monica’s First Female Police Chief Announces Retirement
May 8, 2017
-- Jacqueline Seabrooks, who in 1982 became the first black female patrol officer with the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) and 30 years later became the agency’s first woman chief, announced her retirement on Friday.

Closed Session Meeting Set on Santa Monica Attorney Hiring
May 8, 2017 -- The City Council will hold its second special meeting in two weeks Tuesday afternoon to discuss the hiring of a City attorney.

Santa Monica College Stages 'Carmen' This Month
May 8, 2017 -- The Santa Monica College music department will have a chance to showcase its talents in a fully staged performance of Georges Bizet’s masterpiece “Carmen” this month.

Circuit Court Denies Injunction to Halt Implementation of Santa Monica Airport Closure Deal
May 5, 2017 -- A U.S District Court of Appeals on Thursday paved the way for shortening the runway at Santa Monica Airport when it denied an injunction to halt implementation of a deal between the City and the federal government, City officials announced Friday.

Population of Santa Monica Rises as State Total Nears 40 Million
May 5, 2017
-- The estimated population of Santa Monica increased from 93,282 to 93,834 from January 2016 to January 2017 for a change of .59 percent, according to information released this week by the California Department of Finance.

Santa Monica Legislator’s Affordable Housing Bill Passes Assembly
May 5, 2017 -- A bill co-authored by Santa Monica Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom that would allow local governments to require developments include affordable units was approved by the State Assembly on Thursday.

SPECIAL SERIES: How Rick Cole is Redefining the Role of City Manager
PART I: Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole Is 'Distinctly Different'
PART II: Critics Zero in on Santa Monica City Manager's Spending Priorities
PART III: Cole a Key Player as “New Urbanism” and Fears of Over-Development Clash in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Landlord Harassment Case Highlights Strong Tenant Protections
May 4, 2107 -- The case of Nina Edwards, a tenant who successfully held on to the rent-controlled condominium on Ocean Avenue she has occupied for more than three decades, serves as a cautionary tale for those buying condo units in Santa Monica, according to local rent control experts.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Parents to Get Glimpse at How Teens Party
May 4, 2017 -- Santa Monica and Malibu parents who might have been partiers back in the day will get a reality check on Saturday as they peak into “mock” prom and graduation parties supposedly infused with dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol and possibly sex.

Santa Monica College's Global Motion to Perform World Dance Styles this Month
May 4, 2017 -- The Santa Monica College Global Motion World Dance Company will showcase dance styles from around the world during spring, school officials announced this week.

Santa Monica’s Newest Affordable Housing Complex Takes Concrete Step
May 3, 2017 -- Compared to the 900,000 square feet in apartment/mixed use projects that might one day be its neighbors, the building in progress at 1626 Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica is tiny.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District to Hire Local, Start Apprenticeship Program
May 3, 2017 -- A new pact with area trade council clears the way to hire residents and military veterans as workers and contractors, and will create an apprenticeship program for students, alumni and community members, officials from the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system said.

Public Policy Symposium at Santa Monica College Next Week
May 3, 2017 -- Films, games, debates, panel discussions and a public art installation will be used to encourage citizen engagement during the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute's (PPI) 6th Annual Spring Symposium next week.

Santa Monica City Pay and Benefits Climb at Double the Inflation Rate, New Data Shows
May 2, 2017 -- Employee pay and benefits at Santa Monica City Hall grew at more than double the rate of inflation for metropolitan Los Angeles since 2012, according to data released by a statewide watchdog group Monday.

Clash Over Shortening Santa Monica Airport Runway Goes to Commission Tonight
May 2, 2017 -- An idea meant to curb jet traffic at Santa Monica Airport is heading for a potential collision tonight, as two versions of proposals for shortening the runway by almost a third go to the City Airport Commission. Jolt Felt in Santa Monica Monday Night Nothing Unusual, Expert Says
May 2, 2017 -- Rumblings of an earthquake hitting Santa Monica swept through social media and news outlets late Monday night, but the small temblor was nothing unusual, according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Santa Monica High Ranked Among Top Schools in Nation
May 1, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) flagship institution performed well in US News & World Report’s newly released “Best High Schools” lists both nationally and statewide.

Santa Monica First Quarter Unemployment Reaches New Low
May 1, 2017 -- Santa Monica ended the first quarter of 2017 with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, according to preliminary statistics released by the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Bestselling Author Reveals What Fish Know During Santa Monica Lecture Tuesday
May 1, 2017 -- If you've ever wondered if fish can think or can recognize you staring at them through the glass of an aquarium or diving mask head over to Christine Emerson Reed Park Tuesday night for a lecture sponsored by the Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society.

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