Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

School Bond Campaign Contributions Near $250,000, Dominated by Outside Firms
October 31, 2018 -- The campaign for a local school bond has raised nearly $250,000, thanks to major contributions from companies outside Santa Monica and local PTAs, according to the latest campaign finance disclosure statements.

OPINION -- A Santa Monica Mother’s Response to Alleged Child Abuse in the City-run Police Activities League
October 31, 2018 -- As parents no matter what part of the City we reside in, we must stand united to protect our children from harm, Pico Neighborhood activist Maria Loya writes. When we stand together against sexual abuse, we are stronger.

Former Santa Monica Resident "Whitey" Bulger Found Dead in Prison Cell
October 30, 2018 -- James J. “Whitey” Bulger Jr., a ruthless Boston mob boss who lived in hiding in a Santa Monica rent control apartment for nearly 16 years, was found dead in his prison cell on Tuesday, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was 89.

Santa Monica College Holds Prayer Vigil for Victims of Synagogue Massacre
October 30, 2018 -- More than 200 Santa Monica College students and staff gathered on the school's main campus Tuesday for an interfaith prayer vigil and service honoring the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Group Endorses One Council Candidate, Term Limits
October 30, 2018 -- While some local political organizations are endorsing more City Council candidates than there are seats up for grabs November 6, a prominent slow-growth group opted to make only one endorsement.

Pico Activst Calls for Citizens Oversight Committee for Uller City Probe
October 29, 2018 -- Pico Neighborhood activist Oscar de la Torre is calling for a Citizens Oversight Committee to monitor the City of Santa Monica's internal probe into child molestation charges against City employee Eric Uller.

City to Draft Groundbreaking Ordinance Protecting Santa Monica Hotel Workers from Sexual Violence
October 26, 2018 -- In what the local hotel union called a "historic moment for Santa Monica," the City Council on Tuesday voted to quickly draft a groundbreaking ordinance to protect housekeepers from sexual violence and heavy workloads.

Santa Monica PAL Holds Annual Halloween "Spooktacular" Wednesday
October 26, 2018 -- On Halloween evening, the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) will hold its annual "Spooktacular" event "full of frolicking fun and festivities."

City Council Challengers Continue Reaping Contributions
October 26, 2018 -- City Council challenger Ashley Powell continued filling her campaign coffers, raising nearly $40,000 over the past month, according to campaign finance statements submitted by Thursday's deadline.

EXTRA Santa Monica City Officials Take Additional Actions as Sexual Assault Crisis Expands
October 25, 2018 -- With six more individuals claiming City employee Eric Uller sexually assaulted them, the City issued an update of the measures it is taking to deal with the growing crisis.

Santa Monica Moves Closer to Energy Efficiency
October 25, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council took two additional steps Tuesday to encourage residents to become more energy efficient both in their homes and cars.

LETTERS -- School Facilities Bond Protects Our Children’s Future, Senator Says
October 25, 2018 – As a former School Board member, a proud graduate of SMMUSD schools, and a current Santa Monica resident awaiting the birth of my first child, I know the importance of quality public schools.

SMRR Campaign Mailer Raises Waves
October 23, 2018 -- A campaign mailer sent by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) is deceiving voters by making it appear local Democrats oppose term limits, according to supporters of Measure TL.

Santa Monica Councilmember Pam O'Connor Appointed to Metrolink Board
October 24, 2018 -- Growing up in Chicago, Santa Monica Councilmember Pam O'Connor would sometimes ride the commuter trains. Now she'll be in the conductor's seat as the newest member of the Metrolink Board.

High Ranking Santa Monica Officials Told About Alleged Child Molestation, School Board Member Says
October 22, 2018 -- School Board member Oscar de la Torre said he personally alerted high-ranking law enforcement and City officials that City employee Eric Uller had allegedly molested children as a Police Activities League (PAL) volunteer.

PART VII -- City Council Candidates Share Their Thoughts on Development
October 22, 2018 -- Unlike 2008 and 2016 when ballot measures to curb development triggered fierce battles, the development measure on the November ballot has drawn little attention and no opposition. We asked council members what that means.

LETTERS -- Right-Wing Propaganda Has No Place in Our Local Press
October 22, 2018 -- The Commission on the Status of Women (“COSW”) deserves recognition and praise as it stands with women all over the country who are courageously coming forward with stories of sexual assault and harassment.

Union Backed Proposal Takes Unusual Route to City Council Agenda
October 19, 2018 -- It's hard to tell from the item heading and the one-sentence staff report that a significant policy decision is being proposed on Tuesday's City Council agenda.

PART VI -- Why Do Incumbents Keep Getting Re-Elected in Santa Monica?
October 19, 2018 -- In Santa Monica, it is rare for a City Council incumbent to lose a bid for re-election. Some attribute that to the money and backing they attract, others to voter satisfaction. Here's what the Council candidates think.

EXTRA Santa Monica City Employee Arrested for Lewd Acts with a Minor
October 18, 2018 -- (Updated at 6:30 p.m.) A Santa Monica City employee was arrested Thursday morning for lewd acts with a minor dating back to the 1990s, when he was a volunteer with the local Police Activities League (PAL).

Teacher Who Penned Piece Comparing Trump Aide to Pig Pen Back in the Classroom
October 18, 2018 -- A Franklin Elementary school teacher who was reassigned after writing about her former third grade student, Trump aide Stephen Miller, is back in the classroom, School District officials said Thursday.

PART V -- Council Candidates Choose Sides in Santa Monica Voting Rights Lawsuit
October 18, 2018 -- A Superior Court judge is expected to rule this month on a voting rights lawsuit against the City. Today City Council candidates weigh in.

OPINION -- Sexual Assault Is Not the Only Challenge Women Hospitality Workers Endure
October 18, 2018 -- In this moment of our history, we can no longer be silent on the abuses that women in the workplace face. On Tuesday, a group of Santa Monica workers, residents and clergy will ask our City lawmakers to take action to protect the women who make our tourism industry thrive.

New Gehry Residence Part of Conservancy Tour
October 17, 2018 -- When Frank Gehry built his first Santa Monica home in 1978, an outraged neighbor shot at it one night. Forty years later, his new home in the beach city is part of an architectural tour.

LETTERS -- MIT Economics Professor Gives Council Candidates Homeless Numbers Test
October 17, 2018 -- Why does Santa Monica have such a higher proportion of homeless than comparable cities and LA County as a whole, and what is city government going to do to about it?

Challenge to Santa Monica's Home-Sharing Law Reaches Court of Appeals
October 15, 2018 -- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday began hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by Airbnb and HomeAway that seeks to invalidate key sections of Santa Monica's pioneering homesharing law.

Man Sentenced in Santa Monica Teen's Murder
October 15, 2018 -- A Santa Monica man found guilty of shooting to death a recent Samohi graduate last year was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison.

District to Detemine if Franklin School Teacher Violated Trump Aide's Privacy Rights
October 12, 2018 -- A Santa Monica public school teacher has been re-assigned while District officials determine if she violated privacy laws or polices by writing about Trump aide Stephen Miller when he was her third grade student.

Shooting Incident in Pico Neighborhood Wednesday Evokes Memories of Bloody Gang Wars
October 12, 2018 -- Seven shots were fired in what was once a gang riddled corner of the Pico Neighborhood, evoking memories of the bloody gang violence that gripped Santa Monica 20 years ago.

PART I: City Council Candidates on Crime and Why They Are Running
October 11, 2018 -- The Lookout asked City Council candidates to answer a series of questions that address the most pressing issues facing Santa Monica -- from crime and development to homelessness and pay at City Hall. Here is the first installment with their answers.

Santa Monica's Mobility Plan Isn't Working, Development Watchdog Group Contends
October 10, 2018 -- The City of Santa Monica has been touting its "mobility plan," but residents haven't bought in and City employees are not practicing what they preach, according to a new report by a local watchdog group.

Santa Monica College Fair Draws 4,000 Students
October 10, 2018 -- Some 4,000 Santa Monica College students took part in the school's Fall 2018 College Fair ON Tuesday, making it the largest event of its kind in California, college officials said.

OPINION: The Price of "Development Peace" In Santa Monica
October 10, 2016 -- Councilmember Kevin McKeown's idea of "development peace" is a false one. The Council is still up to its old tricks with Local 11, while real concerns go unaddressed. Residents may wonder if this perceived peace is merely just the calm before the storm.

Santa Monica Independent Campaigns Head into Elections with Small War Chests
October 9, 2018 -- Less than one month before voters go to the polls, independent expenditure campaigns -- which have no contribution limits -- have raised a little more than $300,000 combined, according to an analysis of campaign finance disclosure statements by the Lookout.

Santa Monica Conservancy Offers Tour of Exclusive Adelaide Drive
October 9, 2018 -- A meandering street hidden behind tall apartment buildings, Adelaide Drive is home to some of Santa Monica's most prominent residents and oldest and most spectacular homes.

OPINION -- “Less than the cost of a latte”? Really?
How much money will the school facilities bond on the November 6 ballot cost residents? Sponsors say less than the cost of a latte a month. But it appears there is no cost certainty in the bond measure for renters or property owners.

Santa Monica Hotel on School District Land Sells for $154 Million
October 5, 2018 -- Hilton's DoubleTree Hotel in Santa Monica, which was embroiled in a unionizing battle that shaped its land lease from the School District, has been sold for $154 million, according to media reports.

Council Poised to Pave Way for Promenade Makeover
October 5, 2018 -- After three decades of wear and tear and seismic shifts in shopping trends, the Third Street Promenade is ready for a major makeover, City and Downtown officials say. On Tuesday, the City Council is expected to hire an urban design team to begin assessing what needs to be done.

EXCLUSIVE Santa Monica School Bond Measure Largely Bankrolled by Outside Firms
October 4, 2018 -- About 80 percent of the money raised to support a record $485 million facilities bond for Santa Monica public schools has come from companies outside the City, according to the latest campaign finance disclosure statements.

Man Fatally Stabbed on Park Bench Across from Santa Monica City Hall
October 4, 2018 -- A man was fatally stabbed on a bench in Tongva Park Wednesday night, marking the third murder in Santa Monica in a month and the sixth this year.

Education Foundation Raises More than $200,000 During Pledge Days
October 4, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation raised more than $200,000 in one week during Pledge Days, spurred by a matching gift of $50,000, Foundation officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Holds Third Annual COAST Celebration Sunday
October 3, 2018 -- Santa Monica will hold its third annual open streets event COAST on Sunday, turning a two- mile route into a carless stage where musicians, dancers and artists will perform.

Santa Monica College Receives Grant to Expand Services for Veterans
October 3, 2018 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has received a $280,000 grant to expand services that help active duty service members and veterans succeed in college, school officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Victim of Serial Assailant Dies, Marking Fourth Fatality
October 2, 2018 -- The final victim in a series of brutal assaults in Santa Monica and Los Angeles last month has died, bringing the total number of fatalities to four, Santa Monica police said Tuesday.

Santa Monica Pier Concert Series Nearing First Season's End
October 2, 2018 -- Afro-Beat and R&B will sweep across the Santa Monica Pier Wednesday as the scaled down Twilight concert series stages its penultimate performance of the year

SPECIAL REPORT Why Are Santa Monica's Elections So Noncompetitive This Year? Political Observers Weigh In
October 1, 2018 -- Ask political observers why the upcoming Santa Monica elections are so noncompetitive and you will get a slew of answers. But for whatever reason, the November 6 race for three open council seats -- as well as the four local measures on the ballot -- have generated the least interest in decades.

Santa Monica Public Safety Unions Endorse Four City Council Candidates in Race for Three Seats
October 1, 2018 -- Two more major political groups in Santa Monica have endorsed more candidates than there are seats available in the race for City Council.

Two Housing Bills, Toxic Chemical Ban Sponsored by Santa Monica Lawmaker Signed into Law
October 1, 2018 -- Two housing bills and a bill banning toxic chemicals were among the measures sponsored by Santa Monica lawmaker Richard Bloom signed by the Governor last week.

SMC Presents Jazz, Symphonic Tone Poems and the Music of Leiber and Stoller
October 1, 2018 -- Symphonic and ensemble works, jazz and the theatrical music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller will be presented next month at Santa Monica College.

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