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Council Moves to Curb Paparazzi


By Lookout Staff

June 12, 2009 -- The Santa Monica City Council took steps this week to curb paparazzi in an increasingly trendy beachside city where celebrity sightings have become common place.

The council directed staff to investigate measures to protect the “privacy and safety” of children, their families and teachers from the photographers who flock to areas, such as schools, where celebrities pick up their children.

Council members Richard Bloom and Pam O’Connor placed the item on Wednesday's agenda after parents at the First Presbyterian Nursery School complained that paparazzi were swarming around the campus, standing on cars and blocking sidewalks.

Although the photographers are jockeying,, and sometimes fighting, to get shots of celebrity parents such as actress Jennifer Garner and her husband, actor Ben Affleck, whose three-year-old daughter attends the school, all the children and their parents are caught in the chaos.

Bloom, who said he received letters from several dozen angry parents, found nearly three dozen photographers gathered outside the school during a recent visit.

Parents told him they had been “jostled” and hit with cameras, Bloom said.

Bloom, however, cautioned against takeing too sweeping an action.

"The broader we craft this, the more difficult it is going to be to come up with something sustainable here," he said.





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