Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

Santa Monica Police Arrest Montana Avenue Robbery Suspect After Three Month Search
May 31, 2018 -- A robbery suspect whose escape through one of Santa Monica's wealthiest neighborhoods engulfed residents in the manhunt was arrested by Santa Monica Police Tuesday after a three-month search.

Members of Santa Monica's Citizens Fiscal Committee Formally Ask that Group be Retained, Expanded
May 30, 2018 -- Calling Santa Monica's rising pension debt an "existential threat to our fiscal sustainability," two members of a residents committee on Tuesday formally called for the group to be retained and expanded.

LETTERS -- Citizens’ Committee Members Sound Alarm, Want to Continue Work
May 30, 2018 -- With the next recession -- certain as tomorrow’s sunrise -- the existing pension shortfall will likely balloon over a half billion dollars, becoming an existential threat to our fiscal sustainability.

LETTERS -- City Manager Rick Cole Responds
May 30, 2018 -- I agree with you about the threat of the pension challenge -- as does the City Council -- and look forward to productive discussions about how best to do that. (But your letter presents) an unbalanced picture.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Explores Extremely Hot and Cold Places
May 30, 2018 -- Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium next month will explore the extremes of hot and cold when it focuses on the blazing surface of the Sun and Jupiter’s icy moon.

Budget Cuts Loom as Costs Rise at Santa Monica City Hall
May 29, 2018 -- From cuts to trash collection to keeping vacant jobs unfilled, the Santa Monica City Council is looking at ways to operate during leaner years. The potential cost saving measures come as the City steels itself against a possible recession amid sky-high employee pensions and other costs.

Animal Control Unit Will Attempt to 'Haze' Coyotes as Sightings in Santa Monica Rise
May 29, 2018 -- With sightings of coyotes in Santa Monica on the rise, the City’s animal control unit will boost attempts to “haze” them by using non-lethal objects such as air horns and water guns to instill fear of humans, City officials said.

Complaints Rise as City of Santa Monica Employees Park for Free
May 25, 2018 -- In coming months, the public will start to shell out 40 percent more to park for a day in City-owned lots and structures in downtown Santa Monica -- a hit to the wallet purposely meant to discourage more driving (in favor of alternative transit) on gridlocked streets.

Seven Santa Monica Police Activities League Students Get Scholarships
May 25, 2018 -- The Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program gave a total of $21,500 for post-high school education expenses to seven Santa Monica club members last week.

Giant Dominoes Cascade in Downtown Santa Monica
May 24, 2018 -- A sculpted cascade of colorful dominoes is the latest installation to greet visitors to Downtown's Triangle Square as part of the art initiative ROAM Santa Monica.

ShareWell Unveils Design for New Children's Museum at Santa Monica Place
May 23, 2018 -- Los Angeles-based non-profit ShareWell unveiled the design on Wednesday for its new state-of-the-art Cayton Children's Museum at Santa Monica Place.

Santa Monica Chamber to Install New Board, Chair
May 23, 2018 -- Jeff Klocke, who has been a staple at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier since 1999, will be installed as the new chair of the Chamber of Commerce next month. The vice president and general manager of the amusement park will take the reins at the chamber's 93rd Annual Installation Dinner June 13.

Santa Monica Symphony Memorial Weekend Concert Features Works by Veterans
May 23, 2018 -- In addition to being renown 20th Century composers, Maurice Ravel, George Butterworth and Ralph Vaughan Williams had one thing in common. The Frenchman and two British citizens were World War I Veterans.

New Report Finds Santa Monica City Government Might Require “Painful” Fiscal Changes
May 22, 2018 -- Santa Monica’s City government will require “tangible and likely painful” changes in the coming years as it shudders under $461 million in red ink for unfunded employee pensions and other costs continue to outpace revenue, a new fiscal update warns.

Santa Monica College Receives Nation's Top Award for Increasing Exports
May 22, 2018 -- The U.S. Department of Commerce recognized Santa Monica College (SMC) for its significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports during a ceremony in the nation's capital Monday.

Organizers Submit More than 19,000 Signatures for Santa Monica Term Limits Measure
May 21, 2018 -- Organizers of a proposed measure mandating terms limits for Santa Monica City Council members submitted petitions with more than 19,000 signatures Monday morning to the City Clerk, sponsors of the measure said..

Santa Monica College to Celebrate First-Ever Bachelor’s Degree Graduates in Interaction Design
May 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) Bachelors Degree program in Interaction Design (IXD) -- the first of its kind offered by a community college -- will celebrate its first graduates next month, school officials announced last week.

Santa Monica Police Crack Down on Seat Belt Violations
May 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica police on Monday began a crackdown on drivers and passengers who fail to fasten their seat belts.

Jet Operations at Santa Monica Airport Plummet After Runway Shortened
May 18, 2018 -- Jet operations at Santa Monica Airport plummeted 86 percent in four months after the runway was shortened, according to a City report released Thursday.

Santa Monica Council Edges Closer to November Ballot Measure Requiring Super-Majority for Oversized Developments
May 17, 2018 -- Santa Monica’s City Council is edging closer to approving a November ballot measure that would require developers to win a super-majority council vote for projects that are bigger or taller than zoning allows.

Imperiled Century-Old Sycamores in Santa Monica Win Landmark Protection
May 17, 2018 -- Imperiled by development, two billowing old Sycamore trees in Santa Monica’s Wilmont neighborhood won the protection of landmark status on Monday, the sixth and seventh trees to win the rare designation.

LETTERS -- Santa Monica Homeless Service Agency Responds to Information Presented to Council
May 17, 2018 -- The People Concern is held accountable by multiple outside regulatory agencies, our clients, and the public. It’s very unfortunate that anyone would distort or misrepresent information in an attempt to mislead the public.

Board to Decide on Improvement District to Bond $650 Million for Santa Monica Schools
May 15, 2018 -- (Updated) The School Board is set to decide Thursday whether to create a school improvement district for Santa Monica schools with the authority to issue, ultimately, $650 million in bonds for facility needs.

Santa Monica Sees Rash of Thefts of Catalytic Converters from Cars
May 16, 2018 -- Santa Monica police Tuesday reported a new rash of thefts of catalytic converts from cars, the favored target this time being the popular Toyota Prius.

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Raises $285,000 at Wine Auction
May 16, 2018 -- More than $285,000, including $92,500 in corporate support, was raised by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation at its third annual Wine Auction fundraiser this month.

Santa Monica Rent Control Board Raises Allowable Rent Increases by 2.9 Percent
May 15, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Rent Control Board last week raised the amount landlords under rent control can charge tenants by 2.9 percent.

Busy Santa Monica Corridor Goes to Planning Commission with 'People-Oriented' Redesign
May 15, 2018 -- An extensive plan to redesign the congested corridor near the Santa Monica College rail stop to make it more “people-oriented” goes to the City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

'Aeroplane Bungalow' Showcased at Conservancy Fundraiser Next Month
May 15, 2018 -- A unique style of bungalow dating back to the early years of air travel will be showcased during the Santa Monica Conservancy's Annual Fundraising Salon on Sunday, June 10.

Violent Crime in Santa Monica Jumps Almost 50 Percent to Reach Highest Level in Two Decades
May 14, 2018 -- Violent crime in Santa Monica jumped almost 50 percent in 2017 over the previous year, reaching its highest level in two decades, according to police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics.

City of Santa Monica Fails to Meet Affordable Housing Mandate for Third Year in a Row
May 14, 2018 -- The City of Santa Monica failed to meet its own affordable housing mandate for the third consecutive year in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to a report issued Friday.

OPINION -- City Held Tax Revenues Hostage, School District Left Millions on the Table
May 14, 2018 -- Ill-informed and economically bad decisions have been made by our School Board that waste our resources and negatively impact our kids, yet the District will expect the public to unquestioningly open our wallets the next time we’re asked.

Santa Monica’s Telephone Company Building Downtown Recommended for Landmark Status
May 11, 2018 -- The new owners of Santa Monica’s Depression-era Associated Telephone Company building downtown are seeking landmark status for the structure, a six-story Art Deco reminder of a century when the telephone was high-tech.

Man Found Guilty of Attempted Murder in Shooting of Santa Monica Police Officer
May 11, 2018 -- An ex-convict who seriously wounded a Santa Monica police officer and attempted to shoot two others during a DUI stop in 2010 was found guilty Thusday of three counts of attempted murder.

Santa Monica to Hold Its First ClimateFest
May 11, 2018 -- Speakers, workshops and interactive activities will be featured during Santa Monica's first ClimateFest, a free event held next week at St. Monica’s Campus.

After 'Frank' Exchange of Views, Santa Monica Citizen Committee Is Bid Farewell
May 10, 2018 -- A first-ever ad hoc citizens committee that looked into costly pay and pensions at Santa Monica City Hall was bid farewell Tuesday, with the calls for action by some of its members rejected.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Bonds to Finance Construction of New Downtown Fire Station
May 10, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved $38 million in bonds to finance construction of a new three-story fire station that more than doubles the size of the existing Downtown facility, which dates back the mid-1950s.

Santa Monica College Seeks Business Representative for Bond Oversight Committee
May 10, 2018 -- Santa Monica College 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.

Increased Call for “Accountability” of City-Funded Shelter and Services for Homeless
May 9, 2018 -- A trail of complaints from the county, the state and people claiming abusive treatment has spurred a call for “accountability” and new monitoring of City-funded shelters and services for Santa Monica’s rising homeless population.

Santa Monica Lawmakers' Bills Clear Committee Hurdles
May 9, 2018 -- Two State bills by Santa Monica lawmakers that are geared to boost or protect affordable housing passed key committees Tuesday.

New York City Principal to Head Will Rogers Elementary in Santa Monica
May 9, 2018 -- The former principal of two New York City elementary schools who is known for his "hand-on approach" will take the helm at Will Rogers Learning Community in Santa Monica, District officials said.

Neighborhood Organization and Union-Watcher Join in Verbal Attack of High Pay
May 8, 2018 -- A key neighborhood organization and a new ally, a group fighting the influential hotel-workers union, is pushing back against the City of Santa Monica after an outside audit of City finances.

Transient Woman Who Frequents Santa Monica Missing

May 8, 2018 -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is trying to find a tansient woman who frequents the Santa Monica area after she lost touch with her family.

Outside Audit of Employee Pay at Santa Monica City Hall Heads to Council
May 7, 2018 -- Employee costs are higher at Santa Monica City Hall than its Southern California peers, although the same cannot necessarily be said for worker productivity, according to the final version of an outside audit headed to the City Council on Tuesday.

Staff Recommends Santa Monica Council Scrap Idea of Development Ballot Measure
May, 7, 2018 -- Planning staff is recommending that the City Council not place a measure on the November ballot that would require a "super-majority" approval for developments that exceed Santa Monica's height and density limitations.

Cascading Minimalist Works Featured in Santa Monica Soundwaves Concert
May 7, 2018 -- Minimalist music that features slowly changing cascades of sound will be featured this month as part of the Santa Monica Public Library's Soundwaves concert series.

Mayor Calls Racist Rant in Santa Monica College Parking Lot “Ugly”
May 7, 2018 -- Santa Monica’s mayor is calling a parking-lot confrontation that unleashed a racist rant by an elderly white man captured on video an “ugly incident.” Mayor Ted Wintered said Friday that the incident serves as a reminder that “hate is not welcome in our city, or any city.”

Neighbors of Santa Monica Park Greet End of Free Lunches for Homeless
May 4, 2018 -- Neighbors of Santa Monica’s Reed Park are expressing relief after a church announced it would no longer serve Sunday lunches to homeless people amid a reported rise in crime and behavior that has scared families away. (This article was revised and updated Friday at 9:10 p.m.)

Dorothy Parker's Wit Showcased by Impro Theatre in Santa Monica
May 4, 2018 -- American author Dorothy Parker once wrote, “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” This month, LA’s Impro Theatre will attempt to emulate Parker's sharp wit on the spot when it performs "Dorothy Parker UnScripted" May 18 to 20 at the The Edye at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica College Emeritus Artists Display Their Talents at Annual Exhibition
May 4, 2015 -- You don't have to look far to find artists working well into their later years. John Baldessari, who created many of his major works in Santa Monica, is now in his 80s and going strong. That could serve as inspiration for students at Santa Monica College's program for older adults who will showcase their latest works in an exhibit starting next Thursday at the SMC Emeritus College Art Gallery.

Woman Charged with Murder of Elderly Resident in Santa Monica House Fire
May 3, 2018 -- Murder charges were filed Thursday against a 26-year-old Santa Monica woman believed to be involved in an arson house fire on Monday that resulted in the death of an elderly woman, police said.

Santa Monica City Prosecutors to Evaluate “Hate Crime” Fight Involving N-Word
May 3, 2018 -- Santa Monica City prosecutors will evaluate a confrontation caught on video Tuesday of an elderly white man screaming the N-word repeatedly at a black woman because she took two spaces for her car in a Santa Monica College parking lot.

Ownership of Santa Monica’s Iconic Pacific Park Turned Over to Oklahoma-Based Operator
May 3, 2018 -- With its owner of five years reportedly retiring, the reins for the popular amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier are being turned over to a new Oklahoma-based operator, the company's officials announced this week.

EXTRA Westside Church to Stop Sunday Lunches for Homeless at Reed Park
May 2, 2018 -- After rising complaints about crime and other problems, the Westside Vineyard Church said Tuesday that its congregants will stop providing Sunday lunches to the homeless at Santa Monica's Reed Park.

Santa Monica’s Troubled Transit System Gets Grant for Electric Buses
May 2, 2018 -- Dogged by failing ridership and rising costs, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) system finally had good news to report on Tuesday: It has been selection for a $3 million grant to buy the first batch new zero-emission electric buses.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Explores Race Back to the Moon
May 2, 2018 -- The race to the Moon is back on, and it's not only NASA that's interested in getting there again. The public, and private, endeavors to return to Earth's only permanent natural satellite is the subject of a lecture this month at the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium.

EXTRA Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Looks at Potential $485 Million Bond Measure
May 1, 2018 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board is looking at a record $485 million bond measure for the November ballot, although a spokesperson for the district said discussion has just begun. The amount is based on a new survey that found 66 percent voter support for such a bond.

Revised Gehry Hotel Mixed-Use Project Goes Back to Planning Commission
May 1, 2018 -- Shorter and minus the original luxury condominiums, Frank Gehry’s 12-story hotel-mixed use project overlooking the Pacific in Santa Monica goes back to the City’s Planning Commission on Wednesday.

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