Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- DeCEMber 2018

Calvary Baptist Church Hosts Nativity Scenes Through January 4
December 24, 2017 -- Calvary Baptist Church is once again hosting Santa Monica's historic life-size Nativity scenes that have been a holiday tradition since 1953.

EXTRA Judge Orders City to Use Plaintiffs' Map for Special Council Election
January 2, 2019 -- The judge in a voting rights lawsuit against the City on Wednesday ordered a special election under the seven districts proposed by the plaintiffs.

OPINION -- A Year of Unite Here Local 11
January 2, 2019 -- Southern California residents may ring in the new year by resolving to change for the better, but they shouldn’t hold their breath that the area’s most controversial union will do the same.

Council Votes for Changing Guard at Airport Arts Community
December 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica's largest artist community will have its first new operator since moving into what had been a pigeon-infested hangar at the municipal airport 14 years ago.The 18th Street Arts Center will take over the artist community assembled by artist Yossi Govrin.

EXTRA Santa Monica Chooses Medical Marijuana Retailers
December 20, 2018 -- More than two decades after medical marijuana became legal in California, Santa Monica on Thursday chose two companies to run its first "pot shops."

Expanded Plastics Ban Kicks in January 1
December 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica's expanded ban on single-use plastics kicks on on New Year's Day, but businesses have six months to adjust before enforcement begins, City officials said Thursday.

Council Takes Steps to Curb 'Medium-Term Rentals'
December 19, 2018 --The City Council Tuesday night took initial steps to curb "short-term rentals," formerly known as corporate rentals, which City officials say are eroding Santa Monica's rent-controlled housing.

Real Estate Agent Who Violated Santa Monica Homeshare Law Gets Increased Sentence
December 18, 2018 -- A local real estate agent who violated his diversion terms after being convicted of running an illegal vacation rental business in Santa Monica received an increased sentence last week, the City Attorney's office said Tuesday.

City Council to Choose Operator for Airport Arts Complex
December 17, 2018 -- A battle over control of an artist's complex at a Santa Monica Airport hangar will come to a head Tuesday when the City Council is expected to replace its original leaseholder.

SMC Leads in UC Transfers for 28th Straight Year
December 17, 2018 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) sent nearly 1,300 transfer students to the University of California (UC) system in the last academic year, more than any other community college in the state for the 28th year in a row, school officials announced Monday.

EXTRA Judge Bars Elections Under Santa Monica's Current At-Large System
December 14, 2018 -- The Superior Court judge in a voting rights lawsuit against the City issued an amended tentative ruling made public Friday barring any elections under Santa Monica's current at-large system.

Council Praises O'Connor for Her Leadership, Regional Impact
December 14, 2018 -- It was a long, fruitful ride for Councilmember Pam O'Connor, a 24-year ride on trains and buses that took her to farflung places she would influence and back home to Santa Monica on a train she was instrumental in bringing back.

More than 1,000 Attend Miramar Holiday Gathering, Donate Food and Clothing for Needy
December 14, 2018 -- More than 1,000 Santa Monica residents played in the snow, enjoyed live music and games and donated food and clothing for the needy at Meet Me Under the Fig Tree Sunday at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

SMC Receives Grant to Tell Santa Monica, Westside Stories
December 14, 2018 -- Stories about Santa Monica not often told or heard will get an airing thanks to a $100,000 grant to Santa Monica College (SMC), officials announced Friday.

City Settles with Tenant Accused of "Bizarre and Harassing Behavior"
December 13, 2018 -- A Santa Monica tenant who engaged in "bizarre and harassing behavior" to force subtenants to "flee" her apartment has reached a final settlement with the City, the City Attorney's office announced Thursday.

Police Department to Replace Faulty Camera Systems
December 13, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Police Department is expected to replace the body and car camera systems it purchased last year after encountering numerous problems with the equipment and technology.

New Council Calls for Unity and Communication
December 12, 2018 -- Following the lead of its newest member, Santa Monica's newly seated City Council ushered in what members said would be an era of unity and communication.

Davis, McKeown to Split Two-Year Mayoral Term
December 12, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday voted to split the two-year mayoral term between Gleam Davis and former mayor Kevin McKeown in a 4 - 3 vote that reflected a divided council.

Santa Monica Animal Shelter Offers Pet Deals for the Holidays
December 12, 2018 -- If you'd like to give that special someone a doggy in the window for Christmas, head overr to the Santa Monica Police Department's pet adoption event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Substation on the Promenade.

Comment Period Begins for "The Plaza at Santa Monica" Draft Environmental Impact Report
December 11, 2018 -- What promises to be a heated debate formally kicked off last week with the release of the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for The Plaza at Santa Monica. The site of the proposed 357,000-square-foot mixed-use development on City owned-land has been eyed by slow-growth activists for a public park.

Miramar Hotel Workers Threaten to Strike
December 10, 2018 -- Workers at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica are threatening to strike over a list of demands that includes protections when the nearly century old hotel is closed for redevelopment, union officials said.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- Santa Monica Mayoral Elections Often Unpredictable
December 10, 2012 -- Electing a Santa Monica mayor is an unpredictable process that can result in high political theater or a dull and expected routine vote. The City Council on Tuesday will once again choose a mayor.

Santa Monica Education Foundation Receives Anonymous $50,000 Matching Grant
December 10, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation launched a fundraising drive Monday to match an anonymous $50,000 grant to fund programs in Santa Monica schools, Foundation officials announced.

Planning Commission Approves Second of Pair of Oceanfront Residential Projects
December 7, 2018 -- The second of two residential developments slated for beachfront land at the end of Pico Boulevard was approved by the Planning Commission Wednesday.

Santa Hits Town for Anuual Candy Cane Drive Saturday
December 7, 20018 -- Santa Claus and his police and firefighter helpers are back this year to spread holiday cheer during Santa Monica's annual "Candy Cane Drive” on Saturday.

SMC Emeritus Concert Band to Feature Marimba Music
December 7, 2018 -- A performance this month by Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band will be tinged with the sounds of marimabas, concert organizers announced this week.

Santa Monica to Explain Changes in Water Law to Builders
December 6, 2018 -- Developers of new buildings in Santa Monica will be required to abide by changes to a Water Neutrality Ordinance some builders had been skirting.

Santa Monica Ranks Low on List of Best Cities for Jobs
December 6, 2018 -- Those looking for work will have a tougher chance of finding a job in Santa Monica than in most other California cities, according to a study by WalletHub released Thursday.

Three Santa Monica College Student Films to Screen at Local Festival
December 6, 2018 -- Three films by Santa Monica College (SMC) students that explore lives disrupted by outside forces will be screened Saturday at the Santa Monica International Film Festival (SMFF).

Santa Monica Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Eliminate Hurdle to Low-Income Housing
December 5, 2018 -- Santa Monica Senator Ben Allen introduced legislation this week to eliminate an impediment to building affordable housing added to the California Constitution in 1950.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Superintendent Arrested for Possessing Child Pornography
December 5, 2018 -- A Big Blue Bus employee was arrested by Los Angeles Police Monday for possession of child pornography, according to an internal memo to transit agency staff.

Santa Monica College Seeks Applicants for Bond Oversight Committee
December 5, 2018 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is seeking applicants to serve on the committee that oversees the implementation of four bond measures that fund capital improvements at its campuses, officials announced Wednesday.

Uber Reportedly Seeks to Buy E-Scooter Companies, As Craze, Safety Issues Spread
December 4, 2018 -- The multi-billion-dollar rideshare company Uber could expand its Santa Monica bikeshare operation to electric scooters as the increasingly popular mode of transportation spreads.

Miramar's Meet Me Under the Fig Tree Offers Holiday Cheer, Help For Needy
December 4, 2018 -- In what has become an annual tradition, Santa Monicans will once again gather under the Fairmont Miramar Hotel's iconic Moreton Bay fig tree Sunday to usher in the holidays and help the city's most needy.

City Says No Remedy Needed in Voting Rights Case
December 3, 2018 -- There is no appropriate remedy in the voting rights lawsuit against the City and no need for the judge to impose one before a planned appeal becomes final, according to a brief filed by the City Friday.

Santa Monica Voters Backed Statewide Housing Measure, Opposed Water Bond
December 3, 2018 -- Santa Monica voters defied a statewide trend and handily voted to support Proposition 10, which would have allowed local governments to regulate rents on any type of housing.

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