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September 16, 2021

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SMC Fall Session

Council Rejects Resuming Cash Payments on Buses
September 16, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to make it easier for Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) riders to obtain fare passes but will continue barring them from paying cash.

Police Hold DUI Checkpoint, Traffic Safety Operation Friday
September 16, 2021 -- Santa Monica police will hold a DUI checkpoint Friday, as well as conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation "aimed at keeping people out exercising or enjoying the outdoors safe."

Council Approves Program to Dismiss Street Sweeping Citations
September 15, 2021 -- Those ticketed in Santa Monica for illegally parking during street sweeping between August 30 and September 3 have until October 5 to have their citations dismissed.

How WeHo Got Stuck With Local 11 Backed Ordinance

City Implores County Committee to Deny Malibu Split
September 15, 2021 -- The City of Santa Monica on Tuesday sent a letter to County education officials echoing the School District's opposition to Malibu's separation efforts.

Coronavirus Cases Drop in Santa Monica as County Hospitalizations Decrease
September 14, 2021 -- The number of weekly COVID cases in Santa Monica dropped below 100 for the first time in two months as hospitalizations across Los Angeles County also continued to fall, according to County Health data.

Santa Monica Kicks Off Americana in the Park Concert Series
September 14, 2021 -- The City and Santa Monica's iconic McCabe's Guitar Shop will be testing a new partnership model with the launch of a new roots music series Sunday in Gandara Park.

School District Urges County Committee to Oppose Malibu Split
September 13, 2021 -- School District officials last week mounted a campaign urging the County Committee on School District Organization to end the "protracted battle" over Malibu's split on Saturday.

Santa Monica Launches Ambulance Unit Focused on Homeless
September 13, 2021 -- The Santa Monica Fire Department rolled out a new ambulance unit Monday that provides an alternative response to 9-1-1 calls for homeless individuals.

Council to Consider Accepting Cash Fares on Buses Again
September 10, 2021 -- Two months after Santa Monica buses stopped accepting cash fares, the City Council will revisit a policy that may be hurting the poor and elderly.

Police Arrest Suspect in Armed Robbery, Search for Another
September 10, 2021 -- Police are searching for one of two suspects wanted for armed robbery, carjacking and kidnapping at a Santa Monica restaurant shortly after midnight Friday.

"Twilight and Yearning" Sculptor Fights to Save Public Artwork Beneath the Pier
September 9, 2021 -- For more than 20 years, three orange boats have been strapped to pilings underneath the Santa Monica Pier serving as a clarion call to save the planet. Now, the tides of change are poised to sweep away the environmental art installation created in 1998.

City Poised to Dismiss, Refund Street Sweeping Tickets
September 9, 2031 -- (UPDATED) Many of the 3,000 Santa Monica residents ticketed when the City resumed its regular street sweeping schedule last week could have their citations dismissed or the $73 parking fines they paid refunded.

COVID Cases in Santa Monica Hit Two-Month Low, Death Count Rises
September 8, 2021 -- Weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped to their lowest level in two months, while three residents have died with the virus over the past two weeks, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

SMC Series Features TV Production, "Total Rewards" Concepts
September 8, 2021 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) Business & Entrepreneurship Series this month will offer a behind-the-scenes look at television production and explore how companies shape their work environment.

EXTRA -- Proposed Malibu Split Fails to Meet County Conditions, Report Finds
September 7, 2021 -- Malibu's proposed split from the School District is headed for a key decision this month after failing to "substantially" meet eight of the nine conditions required under State law.

Police Seek Suspect in Possible Road Rage Shooting
September 7, 2021 -- Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly shot at two victims after ramming their car in the Pico Neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Public Safety Commission Denounces City, Union Agreement
September 3, 2021 -- Santa Monica's Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission this week denounced a recent agreement between the City and police union, calling it a "gut punch" that "undermines" the group's work.

Letter From Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission to City Council
The agreement between the City and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association is vastly more intrusive than was required and ties the hands of the Commission in numerous ways, both absurd and telling.

Official Statement of the Santa Monica Police Officers Association
Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission Chair George Brown’s comments on this matter are disheartening, false and illustrate a clear misunderstanding of public sector employee collective bargaining rights.

Health Advisory Remains in Place for Waters Near Pier
September 2, 2021 -- As Labor Day weekend approaches, County Health officials maintained a health advisory Wednesday for the waters around the Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Ed Foundation Raises More than $550,000
September 2, 2021 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation raised more than $550,000 during its back-to-school campaign, more than doubling the amount raised last year.

Residents Find Parking Tickets As Regular Street Sweeping Resumes
September 1, 2021 -- A video posted on social media Tuesday night chronicles what happened when Santa Monica resumed its weekly street cleaning after more than a year.

Police Search for Man Involved in Pier Shooting
September 1, 2021 -- Santa Monica police are looking for a man involved in a shooting that took place at the Santa Monica Pier shortly after midnight Tuesday.

LETTERS -- Critics of Monthly Poll 'Unwittingly' Support Its Relevance
September 1, 2021 -- Although imperfect, polls can be a helpful jumping off point for policy discussions, but misinterpreting the results only confuses that discourse.

Santa Monica Rents Continue Rising, Report Finds
August 31, 2021 -- Santa Monica rents rose for the fifth month in a row, nearly doubling the rent increase posted for July, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday.

Homeless Man Charged with Burglarizing Trendy Promenade Cafe
August 31, 2021 -- County prosecutors filed burglary charges against a homeless man who allegedly broke into a trendy Promenade cafe three times in the course of one week.

Santa Monica Covid Cases Hit Seven-Week Low
August 30, 2021 -- Santa Monica last week registered the lowest number of Covid cases in nearly two months and saw its first virus-related death in four months, according to data from Los Angeles County Health.

Burglary Suspect Arrested at North of Montana Home
August 30, 2021 -- A Santa Monica man suspected of at least two burglaries in the city this month was arrested early Sunday morning.

LETTERS -- 'Bogus' Poll Should Not Be Published
August 30, 2021 -- Any results from a survey of self-selected individuals are invalid by definition and should never be published.

EXTRA -- Interim City Attorney Cardona Hired by California Bar
August 27, 2021 -- Interim Santa Monica City Attorney George Cardona has been named chief trial counsel by the California Bar Association, City officials confimed Friday.

Police to Boost Presence for Protests Sunday
August 27, 2021 -- Santa Monica police will be out in force Sunday as demonstrators who oppose vaccination mandates and counter protesters are expected to descend on the city.

Slim Majority of Santa Monica Residents Oppose Vaccine Mandates, According to Monthly Poll
August 27, 2021 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found that a slim majority opposes vaccine mandates for City employees and for indoor public spaces.

Santa Monica Mandates Vaccinations for City Employees
August 26, 2021 -- The City of Santa Monica on Tuesday issued a policy requiring all City employees, contractors and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by October 29.

Santa Monica Spa Owner Gets Probation for Price Gouging Mask Scheme
August 26, 2021 -- A Santa Monica spa owner charged with hoarding nearly 20,000 N95 masks during the initial months of the Covid pandemic was sentenced to three years probation Thursday.

EXTRA -- Council Votes to Pay Alleged Child Molestation Victims Another $54.9 Million
August 25, 2021 -- In what amounts to one the nation's largest sex abuse settlements by a city, Santa Monica will pay a total of $97.5 million to alleged victims who participated in a City-run youth program more than two decades ago.

Santa Monica Spa Owner Gets Probation for Price Gouging Mask Scheme
August 26, 2021 -- A Santa Monica spa owner charged with hoarding nearly 20,000 N95 masks during the initial months of the Covid pandemic was sentenced to three years probation Thursday.

Santa Monica Surpasses 6,000 COVID Cases
August 24, 2021 -- There were 192 confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica last week, pushing the total number of cases above 6,000, while no new virus-related deaths were reported.

City Website Helps Job Seekers Find Work
August 24, 2021 -- There are plenty of job openings in Santa Monica -- from ice cream scooper and tour guide to lifeguard and lawyer -- and the City is helping residents apply.

Lawyers Guild Accuses City of Discriminating Against Street Vendors
August 23, 2021 -- The National Lawyers Guild is asking Santa Monica to ease enforcement and restrictions the group says discriminate against low-income street vendors.

Emeritus Art Exhibit Features 'Representational Imagery'
August 23, 2021 -- The works of three painters who share an interest in realistic rendering will be showcased in an online exhibition at the Santa Monica College (SMC) Emeritus Art Gallery next month.

District Lays Out Covid Testing Plan for Students
August 20, 2021 -- Mandatory COVID-19 testing will begin for Santa Monica and Malibu public school students next week, District officials announced Friday.

Council to Weigh in as City, Unions Negotiate Vaccination Mandate
August 20, 2021 -- City officials on Tuesday will continue negotiations with employee unions over mandated vaccinations while the Council weighs in.

Ed Foundation Launches Back-to-School Match
August 19, 2021 -- With local school campuses filling up after a year of virtual classes, the Santa Monica Education Foundation is launching a back-to-school match starting Thursday.

Council Expected to Fund New Black Non-Profit, Approve Free Bus Fares for Students
August 19, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to fund a new non-profit that helps Black Santa Monica residents and to join a County program that will provide free transit fares for students.

Council to Consider Banning Risky Vendor Activities
August 18, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider cracking down on illegal vendors on the Pier who are lighting cooking fires, spilling grease into storm drains and overflowing trash bins with waste.

Health Officials Reinstate Advisory for Pier Area
August 18, 2021 -- Five days after LA County officials lifted a health advisory, bacteria levels in the water around the Santa Monica Pier are once again exceeding state standards.

Health Officials Lift Advisory for Water Around Pier
August 17, 2021 -- County officials removed a health advisory for the area around the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, as polluted wastewater discharged from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant fell to a two-week low.

SMC Planetarium Explains Equinoxes and Solstices
August 17, 2021 -- For city dwellers confused between equinoxes and solstices, Santa Monica College's John Dresher Planetarium will help sort the differences out.

OPINION -- City Hall Murals Are Not Who We Aspire To Be
August 17, 2021 -- The City Hall murals do not tell the story of Santa Monica as it should be told or represent who we really are, our purported values or the serious challenges we still face.

COVID Cases Level Off in Santa Monica, No New Deaths
August 16, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped to 143 last week after hitting a near record high of 343 weekly cases at the end of July. No virus-related deaths have been reported in nearly four months.

Police Arrest Two Suspects in Liquor Store Shooting
August 16, 2021 -- A felon from El Monte and his suspected accomplice were arrested in a shooting that took place Friday night at a Santa Monica liquor store in the Pico Neighborhood.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Among County's Fastest Growing Cities, Census Data Shows
August 13, 2021 -- Santa Monica added more than 3,300 residents over the past decade, making it one of the fastest growing large cities in Los Angeles County, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.

Big Blue Bus Launches New Express Service
August 13, 2021 -- Starting Monday, Big Blue Bus riders can grab a bus in Downtown Santa Monica and connect to the Metro D and E lines with only a handful of stops.

School Board Mandates Face Masks, Testing for Students and Staff
August 12, 2021 -- The School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to mandate students to wear face masks in-doors and out and to be tested weekly for the coronavirus.

Felon Arrested for Attempting to Steal Catalytic Converter
August 12, 2021 -- A Los Angeles felon on probation was arrested by Santa Monica police early Thursday morning after he was caught attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a truck parked in a secured lot.

LETTERS -- Opposition Builds to Housing Bills SB9 and 10
August 12, 2021 -- If SB9 and 10 become the law across California, single-family zoning will end almost everywhere and our neighborhoods will never be the same.

School Board Recall Campaign Kicks Off
August 11, 2021 -- The campaign to recall three Santa Monica-Malibu School Board members has begun circulating petitions after they were qualified by the Los Angeles County Registrar last Tuesday.

City Awards Fellowships to Five Santa Monica Artists
August 11, 2021 -- A renown choreographer praised for blending genres and mediums and a folksinger and visual artist known for her "butch lesbian aesthetic" are the latest recipients of $16,000 fellowships from the City.
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