Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

City to Hire Consultant to Advise on Paying Down Looming Pension Debt
June 29, 2018 -- Facing a $461 million bill for unfunded pensions, the City of Santa is seeking to hire a consultant to analyze options to pay down and manage the looming debt.

Three Bills by Santa Monica Lawmaker Pass Key Committees
June 29, 2018 -- Three bills by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom -- tackling fishing, toxic chemicals and affordable housing on the coast -- passed out of key committees this week, his office announced.

Don't Play with Fireworks, Santa Monica Fire Department Officials Remind Public
June 29, 2018 -- Those who want to enjoy fireworks around Independence Day should head to Santa Monica College (SMC) Saturday instead of setting them off at home.

Council Approves Ballot Measure Requiring Super-Majority Vote on Development
June 28, 2018 -- In an effort to quell Santa Monica's development wars, the City Council on Tuesday voted to place a measure on the November ballot that would require a super-majority vote to make changes to the City's zoning standards.

OPINION -- City’s Pico Wellbeing Project Distracts From Dealing With the Real Issue of Gentrification
June 28, 2018 -- The Pico neighborhood is being sold to the highest bidder with no consideration to its residents, and the path is being cleared by the current City Council, which is launching a "Wellbeing Project" to distract and delay the needed zoning rules.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct Checkpoint This Weekend
June 28, 2018 -- DUI once applied almost exclusively to drunk drivers but today twice as many California motorists are under the influence of drugs than of alcohol.

Santa Monica Council Votes to Explore Scaled-Down Rental Ballot Measure
June 27, 2018 -- Scaling back a request to explore two far-reaching rental ballot measures, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to draft a Charter Amendment setting a 2018 base rent if California voters repeal vacancy decontrol.

Douglas Aircraft Subject of Santa Monica Conservancy Talk Next Month
June 27, 2018 -- Not only did Douglas Aircraft have a decisive impact on commercial passenger airlines, the Santa Monica-based company also left an indelible mark on the city where its airplanes were built.

Santa Monica Updates Dial-A-Ride Program with Lyft
June 26, 2018 -- The Big Blue Bus is partnering with the rideshare company Lyft to upgrade the agency's Dial-A-Ride program for Santa Monica seniors and those with disabilities, City officials announced Tuesday.

Council to Discuss Ballot Measures That Could Dictate Future of Santa Monica Rent Control
June 26, 2018 -- The request by two Santa Monica City Council members was a short 46 words and it provided no details. But by the time the item -- which could impact the future of rent control in Santa Monica -- is taken up Tuesday niight the battle lines will have been clearly drawn and the arguments laid out in detail.

Santa Monica Business Leaders Seek to Block Proposed Labor Peace Agreements
June 25, 2018 -- Santa Monica's business leaders will attempt to stave off a proposal before the City Council Tuesday that would pave the way for unionizing restaurants on City property.

Parent of Santa Monica Student Commits Suicide in Front of School
June 25, 2018 -- A John Adams Middle School (JAMS) parent took his life in front of the school Saturday, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) officials said.

Traffic at Santa Monica Airport Continues to Drop, According to the Latest Departure Data
June 22, 2018 -- Aircraft departures from Santa Monica Airport (SMO) continued to decline last month furthering a trend that started when the City shortened the runway in December, according to the latest data.

Santa Monica Pier to Host Paddle Board Races This Weekend
June 22, 2018 -- This weekend, paddle board racing returns to one of the first spots where the sport was launched on the mainland using a lifeguard's wooden board -- the Santa Monica Pier, the site of the first paddleboard race in 1934.

Homeless Man Faces 32 Years in Prison for Santa Monica Violent Crime Spree
June 22, 2018 -- A homeless man pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges stemming from three attacks in Santa Monica last year, including two violent home invasions in the upscale North of Montana neighborhood.

EXTRA 'Super-Majority' Ballot Measure Would Have No Impact on Proposed Developments
June 21, 2018 -- A proposed ballot measure to require a "super-majority" vote by the City Council for developments that exceed zoning limits will have no impact on projects currently in the planning pipeline, according to City planning officials.

A Star-Studded Month at the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium Celebrates Apollo 11
June 21, 2018 -- Summer wonders, the first moon landing and “The Grand Canyon Star Party" are among the topics the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will focus on next month.

Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Two Santa Monica Murders to Get New Trial
June 20, 2018 -- A homeless man sentenced to life in prison for strangling two homeless women in Santa Monica more than 15 years ago will get another trial after a state appeals court panel reversed his conviction Monday.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Hires Family Engagement Coordinator
June 20, 2018 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District last Thursday hired Dr. Freda Rossi, a 20-year veteran of education, to implement its new "Family Engagement Framework."

Santa Monica College to Increase Use of Free Textbooks Through OpenStax
June 20, 2018 -- Low income students at Santa Monica College (SMC) may afford the inexpensive in-state tuition, but another expense often stands in the way of obtaining a degree.

Real Estate Agent Pleads No Contest to Violating Santa Monica's Homesharing Law
June 19, 2018 -- A real estate agent who ran an illegal vacation rental business in Santa Monica pleaded “no contest” to five misdemeanor counts after being prosecuted by the City Attorney's office.

Santa Monica College to Host 'Celebrate America' June 30
June 19, 2018 -- Independence Day will be celebrated four days early this year when the annual “Celebrate America” festival once again offers a fireworks extravaganza on the Saturday before the 4th of July.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill Extends Film and Television Tax Credits
June 19, 2018 -- State legislation co-sponsored by a Santa Monica lawmaker extending tax incentives that helped revive California's movie industry passed the Assembly on Monday.

EXTRA Judge Tosses City of Santa Monica's Motion to Dismiss Voting Rights Lawsuit
June 18, 2018 -- A motion to dismiss a voting rights lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica was denied in Superior Court Tuesday after the high-powered law firm hired to defend the City failed to meet a filing deadline.

Suspect Arrested After Robbing Woman in Upscale Santa Monica Neighborhood
June 18, 2018 -- A robbery suspect was chased down and arrested after snatching a cell phone from a woman walking her dog in an upscale Santa Monica neighborhood Sunday afternoon, police said.

Federal Court Tosses Challenge to Santa Monica's Home-Sharing Law
June 18, 2018 -- A federal district court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Airbnb and challenging Santa Monica's home-sharing law, City officials announced Monday.

PAL Golf Classic Raises $125,000 for Santa Monica Youth
June 18, 2018 -- Community members raised more than $125,000 for the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) at the annual PAL Charity Golf Classic last week, club officials said.

EXTRA Statewide Measure to Repeal Vacancy Decontrol and Expand Rent Control Makes Ballot
June 15, 2018 -- The campaign to repeal California' vacancy decontrol law and allow cities like Santa Monica to expand rent control was certified for the November ballot Friday.

Santa Monica Police Submit Findings in Sexual Assault Case Against Stallone
June 14, 2018 -- Santa Monica police this week submitted their findings to Los Angeles County prosecutors in a sexual assault case reported last year against Oscar-award winning actor Sylvester Stallone.

Santa Monica Conservancy Hosts Talk on City's Early Days as a Film Center
June 14, 2018 -- There were fewer than 8,000 people in Santa Monica, and car racing was a hot sport when the Vitagraph Film Company decided to open a studio in the beach city.

Appeals Court Dismisses Challenge to Santa Monica Airport Decree But Case Continues
June 13, 2018 -- A U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a case challenging the City of Santa Monica's right to shutter its century-old airport in ten years and in the meantime shorten its runway.

Santa Monica Launches Pilot Program for Electric Scooters, Bicycles
June 13, 2018 -- In an effort to curb the runaway popularity of electric scooters and bicycles, the City Council on Tuesday approved a 16-month pilot program that caps the number of such vehicles and sets standards for their use on Santa Monica's busy streets.

Preservationists Seek Landmark Status for Santa Monica Pier's Carousel Park
June 12, 2018 -- Calling it a "culturally significant Postmodernist landscape," preservationists are waging a battle to save Carousel Park when a new bridge is constructed at the Santa Monica Pier.

Small Plane Sustains 'Substantial' Damage Landing at Santa Monica Airport
June 12, 2018 -- In an occurrence City officials called "uncommon," a small propeller plane made a bad landing at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) last week sustaining substantial damage.

Woman Rescued from Car Dangling from Santa Monica Parking Structure
June 11, 2018 -- A bystander rescued a woman from her car as it precariously dangled from the edge of a public parking structure in Downtown Santa Monica.

Upcoming Santa Monica City Budget Tackles Pension Costs, Forces 'Diffficult' Choices
June 11, 2018 -- The City of Santa Monica's upcoming fiscal budget is in large part driven by looming pension costs that will force difficult spending choices the community will help make, according to the staff report for Tuesday's budget hearing.

Elderly Man Charged with Hate Crime in Santa Monica Parking Lot Confrontation
June 11, 2018 -- An elderly man who repeatedly screamed the N-word during a confrontation with a black woman in a Santa Monica parking lot will be arraigned Wednesday for a hate crime.

Santa Monica Pier Beach Makes "Bummer" List, Again
June 8, 2018 -- For the sixth year in a row, the beach around the Santa Monica Pier was named one of the ten most polluted beaches in California, according to Heal the Bay's 2018 report card released Thursday.

Four Santa Monica Candidates Poised to Retain, Win Seats After Tuesday's Primary
June 8, 2018 -- Two former Santa Monica mayors and two former School Board members finished at the top of their ballots in Tuesday's primaries, all but guaranteeing victory in November.

City of Santa Monica Poised to Spend $1 Million for New Website
June 7, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council is expected to approve a $1 million contract to create a new municipal website that will replace the one created in 2000.

Inglewood Mayor's Personal Assistant Earned $312,000 Last Year, Investigation Finds
June 7, 2018 -- Former Santa Monica Police Chief and current Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr.'s personal assistant earned $312,000 in total compensation last year, making her one of the City's highest paid employees, according to an investigation published by the Daily Breeze.

EXTRA Santa Monica Council Member Tony Vazquez Makes Strong Showing in County Race
June 6, 2018 -- Santa Monica Councilmember Tony Vazquez is likely on his way to joining the California Board of Equalization after a strong showing in Tuesday's primary that could have major ramifications in local city politics.

LETTERS -- No Savings, Just Heaps of Misery and Flies
June 6, 2018 -- Santa Monica Councilmember Gleam Davis’ suggestion that trash pickup should happen every two weeks to help pay for the cities bloated salaries is appalling.

Suspect Arrested in Rape of Woman in Santa Monica Apartment
June 6, 2018 -- Santa Monica police on Tuesday presented a case for filing in the rape of a woman in her Ocean Park apartment early Monday morning. The suspect Dylan James Jensen, 42, entered the apartment in the 2900 block of 4th Street shortly before 6 a.m. and raped the tenant, who was sleeping in her bed, police said.

Rent Control Cities Like Santa Monica Are Building More Apartments, Housing Advocates Say
June 5, 2018 -- California cities with rent control, including Santa Monica, have seen more construction of apartment buildings than cities without such controls, housing advocates say.

Former Spanish Television Executive Will Be Santa Monica College Commencement Speaker
June 5, 2018 -- Former Telemundo executive Nely Galán,who produced more than 700 shows and wrote a bestselling book, will be Santa Monica College's commencement speaker at its graduation ceremony next week, college officials announced.

Man Stabbed in Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood
June 4, 2018 -- A man was stabbed in the Pico Neighborhood Saturday night and is in stable condition after undergoing surgery, Santa Monica Police said.

LETTERS -- Santa Monica Massages Homeless Numbers Like Orwell's Ministry of Justice, MIT Professor Says
June 4, 2018 -- As a Santa Monica taxpayer who was assaulted by a homeless person last year, I would like to see less spin and more results. Otherwise, we should replace the City Manager and a good part of his bureaucracy.

Santa Monica-Malibu Public Schools Faced with Four Years of Projected Red Ink
June 4, 2018 -- An estimated $122.6 million general fund budget for Santa Monica-Malibu public schools is being considered for the coming year, a spending hike of 5.4 percent over the present budget and the first of four years with anticipated red ink.

Greater L.A. Homeless Count Shows Decreases Not Mirrored in Santa Monica
June 1, 2018 -- The number of homeless persons counted in Greater Los Angeles dipped for the first time in four years, officials announced Thursday, registering an overall decline of those living on the streets and leaving Santa Monica behind in the effort to handle the regional crisis.

Santa Monica College Graduates Second Law Pathway Class
June 1, 2018 -- Sixteen Santa Monica College students became the second group to successfully complete the school's Law Pathway Program that prepares traditionally underrepresented students for law school, college officials announced Thursday.

LETTERS -- Cut Staff Before Selling Santa Monica's Assets
If the City Manager believes it is appropriate to sell some of the city's most treasured to meet future pension commitments, then he should specify which properties are up for grabs.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Meet Your Neighborhood Resource Officer
Contact your area Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) or Crime Prevention Coordinator in the Police Department's Community Affairs Unit with any questions.

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