Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

City Council Hikes Fines for Living Wage Violations
November 30, 2018 -- Without discussion, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to dramatically hike the fines for those who violate Santa Monica's minimum wage law in an effort to strengthen enforcement.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Kicks of Santa Monica Holiday Season Friday
November 29, 2018 -- It will be snowing in Santa Monica when the City rings in the holiday season with the lighting of the official Christmas tree Friday evening on the Promenade.

City Wins Suit Challenging Landing, Fuel Fees at Santa Monica Airport
November 29, 2018 -- A Superior Court judge this month rejected a lawsuit claiming the City was inflating landing and fuel fees at Santa Monica Airport to limit flight activity.

Party Bus Shooting Victim Sues City
November 29, 2018 -- The friends and relatives of a woman killed in a 2017 shoot-out involving two party buses near the Santa Monica Pier have sued the City and the company that owned the bus.

EXTRA Vazquez to Step Down from Council Seat
November 28, 2018 -- Councilmember Tony Vazquez will step down from the council to assume the seat on the State Board of Equalization he won on November 6, the City said in a statement Wednesday. The announcement came after the California Attorney General determined the two offices are “incompatible.”

Protesters Urge City Not to Appeal Voting Rights Ruling
November 28, 2018 -- Spend taxpayer money on policing parks not paying expensive lawyers, and don't underestimate the ire of voters who oppose the City's plans to appeal the ruling in a voting rights case. That was the message delivered Tuesday evening by more than 100 demonstrators at City Hall. View video of rally

Judge Denies Request to Stop Certification of Santa Monica Election Results
November 27, 2018 -- The judge in the voting rights lawsuit against the City on Tuesday denied a request by the plaintiffs to halt certification of the results of the November 6 Santa Monica Council election.

Santa Monica College Launches Free Vocational Programs
November 27, 2018 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is offering free non-credit programs for California residents wishing to enter fields as varied as rehab therapy and bicycle maintenance.

Leader of Social Justice Group Involved in Santa Monica Organizing Efforts Resigns
November 26, 2018 -- Rabbi Jonathan Klein, the executive director of Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) -- which has been a leading voice in union organizing efforts in Santa Monica -- has stepped down from his post amid abuse and harassment claims.

Proposed Santa Monica Council Map Places Three Incumbents in One District
November 26, 2018 -- A map submitted by plaintiffs last week in a voting rights lawsuit against the City places three council members in one district, while leaving three districts without current representation.

LETTERS -- Voting Rights Attorney Wants to Set the Record Straight
November 26, 2018 -- Neither I, nor any of the other attorneys representing the Pico Neighborhood Association and Maria Loya, nor any of the plaintiffs, have any connection to the “Center for Union Facts” or any other anti-union group.

Alleged Molestation Victim Sues City For Failing to Protect PAL Youth
November 21, 2018 -- An alleged child molestation victim of deceased City employee Eric Uller filed a damages claim against the City Tuesday for failing too protect children at the after-school program where the suspect allegedly preyed on his victims.

Santa Monica Tourism Industry Holds Holiday Clothing Drive
November 20, 2018 -- Those who wish to donate spare clothing fit for a job interview have until December 9 to drop off the items at Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s (SMTT) Main Street Visitor Center.

Plaintiffs in Voting Rights Suit Propose District Map, April Election
November 20, 2018 -- Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the voting rights lawsuit against the City asked the judge on Monday to adopt seven council districts and hold a special election in April.

OPINION -- The Beginning of the End of the Liberal Façade in Santa Monica
November 20, 2018 -- The judge's ruling against the City in the voting rights lawsuit signifies the beginning of the end for a group of elected officials that is out of touch with the values and needs of a majority of Santa Monica’s residents.

LETTERS -- Does Local 11 Stand With Santa Monica Neighborhoods On Voting Rights?
November 20, 2018 -- The City of Santa Monica is expected to appeal a recent court decision requiring it to implement district elections to replace the current at-large system. Amid all this public outcry, one voice has remained silent: Unite Here Local 11.

Woman Wounded in Shooting at Santa Monica Liquor Store Parking Lot
November 19, 2018 -- A woman sustained a superficial wound when she was struck by a bullet Friday night at the parking lot of Eddies Liquor on Pico Boulevard, according to Santa Monica police.

City Asks Judge to Explain Voting Rights Lawsuit Decision
November 19, 2018 -- Attorneys for the City of Santa Monica last week asked the judge in the Voting Rights lawsuit to explain her decision in favor of the plaintiffs, whose supporters are asking the City Council not to appeal.

SMC Retains Certification as Only "Bicycle Friendly" Community College in California
November 19, 2018 -- The League of American Bicyclists has upgraded Santa Monica College (SMC) from a bronze to silver rating as a Bicycle Friendly University, school officials announced last week.

Downtown Santa Monica Celebrates the Holidays with Lights and Ice
November 16, 2018 -- Downtown Santa Monica is in full holiday swing with skaters gliding on ice amid swirling snowflakes, twinkling lights and a soon-to-debut bright light show on the Promenade.

City Restricts Downtown McDonald's Hours in Effort to Curb "Criminal Activities"
November 15, 2018 -- The McDonald’s Restaurant on Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica -- which police consider "a significant center of criminal activities" -- will no longer be open around the clock, City officials announced Thursday.

EXTRA Uller Found Dead in Apparent Suicide
November 15, 2018 -- Former Santa Monica City employee Eric Uller -- who faced charges he molested teenage boys as a youth volunteer -- was found dead in his Marina del Rey apartment Thursday.

City Council Orders Study Session on Park Safety
November 15, 2018 -- The City Council on Tuesday took steps to address resident fears that Santa Monica's Parks are increasingly being taken over by the homeless.

Vote on New Santa Monica Historic District Delayed
November 14, 2018 -- An effort to preserve a small slice of the Mid City Neighborhood by designating it a historic district was delayed Monday after the Landmarks Commission postponed a vote.

Extra Bedroom Program Back for the Holidays
November 14, 2018 -- Santa Monica residents can book a local hotel room for a visiting guest at a deeply discounted rate under the annual Extra Bedroom Program that kicked off this week.

City Plans to Appeal Decision in Voting Rights Case
November 13, 2018 -- The City of Santa Monica plans to appeal a Superior Court decision that it violated the California Voting Rights Act by discriminating against minority voters, City officials said Tuesday afternoon.

EXTRA!!! Plaintiffs Win Voting Rights Suit Against the City of Santa Monica
November 13, 2018 -- In a historic decision that could radically change the makeup of the City Council, a Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the Latino plaintiffs in a voting rights lawsuit against the City.

Decision in Santa Monica Voting Rights Lawsuit Could be Revealed Today
November 13, 2018 -- Attorneys in the Voting Rights lawsuit against the City are awaiting the arrival today of the judge's decision in a case that could upend local politics.

Term Limits' Landslide Win Sends Strong Message, Sponsor Says
November 9, 2018 – When Santa Monica voters in Tuesday’s election granted overwhelming approval to term limits for the City Council, they were also blasting out a stern warning, says the City Hall watchdog who helped craft Measure TL.

Uller Free on Bail, No Longer City Employee
November 9, 2018 -- Eric Uller, who pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he sexually abused children as a Police Activities League (PAL) volunteer two decades ago, is free after posting bail but is no longer an employee of the City.

Santa Monica Library Holds Annual Book Sale Saturday
November 8, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Library's used bookstore has seen some rare finds pass through their shelves. On Saturday thousands of donated books will be offered at the annual Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library Bookstore sale.

Saga of Abandoned Santa Monica Building Finally Comes to an End
November 8, 2018 -- An abandoned half-finished building near the eastern edge of Santa Monica that has spooked and rankled neighbors since the turn of the century will finally be torn down and replaced.

LETTERS -- Message from Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati
November 8, 2018 -- The "overwhelming support" of school bonds in Santa Monica and Malibu "is testament to the unwavering trust you have in our schools and ongoing interest in supporting our students."

City Determining if Vazquez Must Vacate Council Seat after Winning Election to State Board
November 7, 2018 -- Santa Monica Councilmember Tony Vazquez easily won a seat on the State Board of Equalization Tuesday, likely creating a vacancy on the Council that could be filled as early as January.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- Development Remains Major Issue in Tuesday's Santa Monica Election
November 7, 2018 -- Development may not have been a hot-button issue on Tuesday's Santa Monica ballot, but it was a determining factor in the race for three City Council seats and the resounding support for term limits.

EXTRA O'Connor Out, Morena In; Term Limits Wins in Landslide
November 7, 2018 -- Santa Monica City Councilmember Pam O'Connor lost her bid for a record seventh four-year term on Tuesday, while a measure to impose Council term limits won in a surprising landslide.

Uller Pleads Not Guilty to Sexually Abusing Minors
November 6, 2018 -- Santa Monica City employee Eric Uller pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he sexually abused children as a Police Activities League (PAL) volunteer two decades ago.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- Tuesday's Local Elections Will Likely Bring Little Change
November 5, 2018 -- Based on Santa Monica's recent political history -- and the dearth of candidates and hot-button issues on the ballot -- Tuesday's election will likely bring little change.

OPINION -- Will The City Council Get Serious About Crime?
November 4, 2018 -- We just aren’t as safe as we were a few years ago, and if our leaders continue to provide the same wishy-washy solutions for this ever-growing problem, getting our safe, amiable city back will be near impossible.

EXTRA Opponents of School Bond Measure Mount Last Ditch Effort to Sway Voters
November 2, 2018 -- A rag-tag army of school parents and neighborhood activists is mounting a last-ditch effort to oppose a record $485 million school facilities bond on Tuesday's ballot.

Pico Neighborhood Peace and Healing March to Take Place Tonight
November 2, 2018 -- Twenty years ago, in the wake of what was likely the bloodiest spree of gang violence in Santa Monica history, more than 1,000 Pico Neighborhood residents took to the streets in a demonstration against youth violence.

American Film Market to Boost Santa Monica Economy
November 1, 2018 -- The world's largest film market is back in Santa Monica for the 28th straight year providing a boost to the local economy after the peak summer season.

Santa Monica Police Arrest Uber Driver for Kidnapping Passengers
November 1, 2018 -- An Uber driver was arrested in Santa Monica Wednesday evening after leading police on a chase with two victims he had kipnapped in the vehicle, Santa Monica police said.

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