Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- August 2019

EXTRA -- Skaggs Died of Accidental Overdose, Texas Autopsy Finds
August 30, 2019 -- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and powerful painkillers, a Texas medical examiner said in a report released Friday.

Santa Monica College Showcases Works by Major California Artists
August 30, 2019 -- Isolated after World War II, Los Angeles artists developed a scene far removed in spirit and distance from the metropolitan confines of New York City.

Personal Trainer Brad Bolton Remembered as an Inspirational Force
August 29, 2019 -- Even as he was falling, Brad Bolton tried to lift others up, his former friends say. For years, the personal trainer, who took his life Saturday at age 49, inspired those he knew and mentored -- from Santa Monica and Venice residents to well-known athletes and LA's elite.

Camera Obscura Artists Invite Participants to Share in Their Work
August 29, 2019 -- The two artists in residence at Santa Monica's Camera Obscura Art Lab will hold a series of workshops and events next month that invite participants to explore their bodies and the world around them in novel ways

Santa Monica Council Unanimously Approves Groundbreaking Hotel Ordinance
August 28, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday that protects housekeepers from sexual violence and dictates workloads normally negotiated by the hotel workers union.

Santa Monica Man Charged in Brother's Murder
August 28, 2019 -- A man who shot his teenage brother to death in a Santa Monica apartment Sunday has been charged with murder, police said.

OPINION -- Santa Monica's Anti-Worker City Council
August 28, 2019 -- As long as Local 11 continues to act as the "man behind the curtain" at City Hall, the best interests of workers in Santa Monica will continue to go ignored.

Fewer Scooters, New Helmet Law Spur Drop in Citations, Police Officials Say
August 27, 2019 -- The number of traffic tickets issued to e-scooter riders in Santa Monica has seen a dramatic drop over the past year due to fewer such vehicles on the streets and a major change to the state law, according to police.

Samohi Pool Reopens After Gas Leak
August 27, 2019 -- The Santa Monica High School pool reopened Tuesday after a chlorine gas leak last week left members of the boys water polo team suffering from "acute respiratory distress," District officials said.

Two Playwrights Awarded Santa Monica Artist Fellowships
August 27, 2019 -- Two playwrights who chronicle the plights of Native Americans and Laotian refuges are the recipients of $20,000 artist fellowships from the City of Santa Monica.

Suicide on Saturday Marks Fourth in Downtown Santa Monica Parking Structure in Less than a Year
August 26, 2019 -- In what marks the fourth suicide in a Downtown Santa Monica parking garage in less than a year, a man jumped to his death from the top of Structure 2 Saturday morning.

Santa Monica Man Kills Brother in Dispute Sunday
August 26, 2019 -- A man fatally shot his 19-year-old brother on Santa Monica's north side Sunday evening, marking the second homicide in the beach city this year and the second involving a family member.

OPINION -- Once Again, Local 11 “Regrets the Error”
August 26, 2019 -- It's time the Council started listening to the housekeepers who oppose the work rules piece of this ordinance, rather than a union that has more regrets than facts at its command.

Councilmembers' Names Appear on List Urging Them to Support Hotel Ordinance
August 23, 2019 -- (UPDATED) It isn't often that a Councilmember's name appears on a list of supporters below a letter urging them to vote for an agenda item. But that's what happened when three Councilmembers were listed among the supporters of the Hotel Workers Ordinance the Council will take up Tuesday.

Explore the Mysteries of Solstices and Equinoxes at the Santa Monica College Planetarium
August 23, 2019 -- Equinoxes and solstices, like the Moon, have exerted a mysterious power over humans throughout recorded history. Next month, the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will explore all three during a series of shows.

LETTERS -- Why Should the City Do the Work of the Hotel Union at Taxpayers Expense?
August 23, 2019 -- Isn't setting workloads for hotel workers and supervising their training the role of the union? Local 11 is asking the City to take over its job.

LETTERS -- City Council, Please Don’t Hurt Housekeepers
August 23, 2019 -- The City Council should pass a law that guarantees panic buttons for all hotel workers, but it must leave the current credit cleaning system alone.

Serial Killer Arrested by Santa Monica Police Faces Death Penalty
August 22, 2019 -- A jury on Thursday found convicted serial killer Michael Gargiulo, known as the "Hollywood Ripper," was sane when he murdered two women and attempted to murder a third in her Santa Monica apartment.

School District Repairs $200,000 in Damages After Muir Elementary Vandalism Attack
August 22, 2019 -- School District officials are completing an estimated $200,000 in repairs to John Muir Elementary School after five juveniles trashed the campus during a vandalism attack in June.

LETTERS -- Is Councilmember Acting as Union's 'Inside Man' at City Hall?
August 22, 2019 -- A curiously timed video from Unite Here Local 11 might explain Councilmember Kevin McKeown's hard line on adding a worker retention clause to the hotel workers ordinance.

Provision Added to Hotel Ordinance Sparks Widely Differing Views
August 21, 2019 -- Adding a worker retention provision to Santa Monica's proposed hotel workers ordinance will help the city maintain its status as a world-class tourism destination or boost room rates by stifling competition.

Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday After Last Operation Netted Three Arrests
August 21, 2019 -- Santa Monica Police will conduct their third DUI checkpoint on Friday after the last operation led to three arrests and two impounded vehicles.

Santa Monica College Student Film Wins Top International Award
August 21, 2019 -- A Santa Monica College (SMC) student film that tackles mental illness took a top prize at at the 2019 Prague Independent Film Festival (PIFF) this month.

School District to Continue Fee Procedure After Settlement, Top Official Says
August 20, 2019 -- The School District will not significantly change its policy governing pupil fees after settling a class action lawsuit that claimed it illegally "requires" students to purchase certain items needed for school, Superintendent Ben Drati said.

California Appeals Court Lets Stand Santa Monica's Homesharing Law
August 20, 2019 -- A California Appeals Court last week declined a petition from two major online rental platforms requesting that the court rehear a case challenging Santa Monica's homesharing law.

Conservancy Hosts Tour of Threatened South Beach Neighborhood
August 20, 2019 -- After surviving a coastal redevelopment boom in the 1960s, Santa Monica's South Beach is once again threatened by encroaching development.

City at Loggerheads with Meals Program at Reed Park
August 19, 2019 -- A showdown has been brewing between Santa Monica City officials and the organizer of a meals program that has been serving food to more than 100 homeless people every Sunday at Reed Park.

Samohi Track to Bear Pat Cady's Name in Time for Memorial Pep Rally
August 19, 2019 -- When students and alumni flock to Samohi's Greek Theater for a memorial "pep rally" Sunday, they well see the name of the man they've come to honor emblazoned on the school's track.

Santa Monica Schools Get $2.1 Million Funding Boost from Education Foundation
August 19, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation presented the School Board with a $2.1 million grant on Thursday to help local schools fund programs and staff positions.

Suspects Arrested in Two Separate Santa Monica Robberies Thursday and Friday
August 16, 2019 -- (UPDATED) Police arrested five suspects in two unrelated robberies that took place on the north side of Santa Monica within 24 hours of each other.

Council Directs Staff to Tighten Santa Monica's Reoccupancy Law
August 16, 2019 -- The City Council directed staff on Tuesday to find ways to deter Santa Monica landlords from illegally renting rent control units that have been removed from the market, although there is no indication the practice is widespread.

Jury Finds Former Santa Monica Resident Guilty of Double Murder
August 16, 2019 -- A convicted serial killer known as the "Hollywood Ripper" was found guilty by a jury Thursday of murdering two women and attempting to murder a third in her Santa Monica apartment across the alley from his home.

Tsunami Strikes Santa Monica, Washes Pier Away in TV Trailer
August 15, 2019 -- (UPDATED) Dramatic footage of a tsunami that destroys the Santa Monica Pier and floods the coastal city was released on Wednesday as a television trailer for the show 9-1-1. The footage is a reminder that a tsunami poses a real danger to the beach city, which has long had a detailed evacuation plan.

City to Begin Replacing Broken Water Main on Ocean Avenue
August 15, 2019 -- A water main on Ocean Avenue that suffered separate breaks on Saturday and Wednesday will be replaced next week, Santa Monica City officials said.

Help Clear the Santa Monica Animal Shelter Saturday

August 15, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Animal Shelter is offering reduced fees for those who adopt pets during this year's “Clear the Shelters” drive Saturday.

EXTRA -- Council Adds Last-Minute Worker Retention Provision to Hotel Ordinance
August 14, 2019 -- Worried a proposed ordinance to protect Santa Monica hotel workers does not go far enough, the City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to add a worker retention provision.

Santa Monica Expands Senior Housing Subsidies
August 14, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday voted to provide $2 million in housing subsidies to as many as 400 Santa Monica seniors struggling to make their rent control payments.

OPINION -- City Study Highlights Local 11's Self-Interested Motive
August 14, 2019 -- Workers donning red “Unite Here” t-shirts are marching in favor of a housekeeper protection law whose workload restrictions don't cover them, writes a hotel union watchdog.

Home Rented as Quasi Hostel Raises Concerns About Home-Sharing Law
August 13, 2019 -- A house rented on Airbnb as a quasi youth hostel has caused an uproar in the upscale North of Montana neighborhood and raised questions about Santa Monica's strict home sharing ordinance.

Santa Monica to Unveil Its First Battery Electric Bus
August 13, 2019 -- Santa Monica will unveil its first electric bus next week marking a major step towards an emission-free future, City officials announced Tuesday.

Staff Recommends Hotel Housekeepers Ordinance But Raises Concerns
August 12, 2019 -- The City Council this month should move forward with the union-backed hotel housekeepers' ordinance but should be wary of potential impacts, according to a report from the City's top policy official.

Fire Department Beach Pilot Project Showing Results, Officials Say
August 12, 2019 -- A new pilot program launched last month that stations Santa Monica firefighters and paramedics on the north end of the beach has already reduced response times by more than half, fire officials said Monday.

Dance Piece Inspired by Mathematical Genius Gets World Premiere in Santa Monica
August 12, 2019 -- Proof that a mathematician's life can make good foder for a dance piece will be on display at the world premiere of "Formulae & Fairy Tales" in Santa Monica next month.

Santa Monica City Council Poised to Take Nuclear Stance
August 9, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday will do its part to help prevent a nuclear war by endorsing a list of policy solutions to reduce the "risks posed by nuclear weapons."

Final Arguments End in Trial of Accused Serial Killer Arrested in Santa Monica
August 9, 2019 -- The fate of an accused serial killer whose alleged murder spree was halted when a Santa Monica tenant fought him off in her apartment is now in the hands of the jury.

No More "Pleasures Along the Beach" in Santa Monica
August 8, 2019 -- On Friday, the wall above the old bank building entrance that held Santa Monica's iconic "Pleasures Along the Beach" mosaic for 50 years will be blank.

EXTRA -- District to Reimburse Parents for School Supplies Under Settlement Agreement
August 8, 2019 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District settled a class action lawsuit Thursday claiming the District illegally "requires" students to purchase certain items needed for school.

Santa Monica Schools Earn High Grades from Niche
August 7, 2019 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District was one of the top-ranked school systems in the Los Angeles area, with two of its schools earning the top A+ grade, according to nationwide rankings released by Niche this week.

Santa Monica Medical Center Employee Awarded Nearly $1.6 Million in Racial Harassment Suit
August 7, 2019 -- A black former phlebotomist at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica who accused her Latino co-workers of racial harassment was awarded nearly $1.6 million in damages by a jury Tuesday.

Scaled-Down Pier Concert Series Returns This Month
August 7, 2019 -- From the Middle East to Australia and Japan to the Caribbean, global sounds will once again take over the Santa Monica Pier starting this month.

Man Arrested After Standoff in Santa Monica Sentenced for Murder
August 6, 2019 -- A man arrested for murder by Santa Monica police after a tense standoff in 2015 was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years to life in state prison.

Santa Monica Police Lieutenant Under Criminal Investigation
August 6, 2019 -- Lt. Richard Lewis, an 18-year veteran of the Santa Monica Police Department, is under criminal investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, officials from both forces confirmed Tuesday.

OPINION -- Pat Cady Field Sounds Perfect
August 6, 2019 -- Pat Cady exemplified the legendary teacher that impacts hundreds of young students over a lifetime, writes Kip Delliger, who coached the Samohi track and field team with Cady.

Union Watchdog Poll Gauges Voters' Take on Crime, Proposed Hotel Ordinance
August 5, 2019 -- A poll of likely Santa Monica voters conducted by a hotel union watchdog group found that crime and homelessness remain concerns. The poll also gauged support for a proposed ordinance to protect hotel housekeepers.

Colombian Choreographer Explores Displacement During Santa Monica Residency
August 5, 2019 -- Colombian artist Paola Escobar will explore displacement during her tenure as choreographer-in-residence at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

City to Announce Rebates for Apartment EV Charging Stations
August 5, 2019 -- The City this month will begin announcing the multi-family buildings that will recive rebates to help offset the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations, City officials said.

Bird Two Set to Launch as Skepticism of Green Claims by E-Scooter Companies Mount
August 2, 2019 -- As Bird prepares to roll out its new generation of e-scooters this fall, a new study from North Carolina State University (NCSU) found such vehicles may not be as green as they've been touted to be.

Bra-Inspired Mural Turns Heads in Santa Monica
August 2, 2019 -- Give Joe Nicoletti a building surface to paint -- the ceiling of LA City Hall, Rod Stewart's bedroom, Jim Carrey's closet -- and the result is bound to turn heads.

Join "The Experiment" in Downtown Santa Monica This Summer
August 2, 2019 -- Learn to dance salsa, catch a comedy show or just lounge on some of the new "interactive" seating that's part of Downtown Santa Monica's outdoor laboratory on the Third Street Promenade this summer.

Appeals Court Orders Santa Monica Landlord to Return Units to Rent Control
August 1, 2019 -- The owner of a 13-unit Santa Monica apartment building must return the units to rent control a quarter century after the Rent Board gave the go-ahead to remove them from the rental market, a California Appeals Court ruled Tuesday.

Santa Monica Medical Directer Charged with Distributing, Possessing Child Pornography
August 1, 2019 -- A prominent Santa Monica medical director has been charged with distributing and possessing child pornography, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Joins Thousands of Cities to Celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday
August 1, 2019 -- Heart of the City, is the theme of this year's National Night Out celebration in Santa Monica that takes place on Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in front of City Hall.

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