Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

LA Council Reinstates Ban Restricting Vehicle Dwelling
July 31, 2019 -- After a one-month hiatus, it is once again illegal to live in vehicles on the residential streets of Los Angeles. The LA City Council on Tuesday voted 13-0 to reinstate the ban that had expired June 30 before the Council went on recess.

Santa Monica-Based Consumer Watchdog Lays Out Roadmap for Carmaggedon July 31, 2019 -- Imagine an attack as deadly as 9/11 only instead of aircraft slamming into buildings, 3,000 victims die on the road by losing control of their cars. That nightmare scenario is the subject of a report issued Wednesday by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.

Southern California Edison Sends Out Scam Alert

July 31, 2019 -- Southern California Edison on Wednesday warned that scam artists posing as company employees are stepping up efforts to rip off customers.

Westside Homeless Population Sees Dramatic Jump, Venice Tops List
July 30, 2019 -- Westside communities saw a 20 percent rise in homelessness in 2019, with Venice's homeless population surpassing 1,000, according to census figures released by the Los Angeles County Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA).

School District Sends Notices for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program
July 30, 2019 -- The School District has launched its National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the period from July 1 to June 30 of next year.

Santa Monica's Tree Task Force Branches Out
July 29, 2019 -- Santa Monica's Urban Forest Task Force will be expanded and its role made more significant as the City prepares to craft a citywide tree ordinance.

Council Nixes Proposed Parking Zone Near Venice Border
July 29, 2019 -- The latest bid to carve another preferential parking zone in Santa Monica failed last week after two City Council members recused themselves and a third was absent from the meeting.

Jazz Fusion Band Pays Tribute to Charlie "Bird" Parker in Santa Monica Next Month
July 29, 2019 -- "Fusion lives!" one reviewer extolled upon hearing the LA jazz quintet Continuum, which will bring its hybrid seventies-inspired sounds to the Santa Monica Public Library next month.

EXCLUSIVE -- Suspect in Santa Monica Serial Rapes Has Long Criminal Record
July 26, 2019 -- Fernando Venancio Jr., who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he raped two women in Santa Monica and attempted to rape a third, has an extensive criminal record, according to court documents.

Council Determines All Santa Monica Development Agreements in Compliance
July 26, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday determined that all 30 major projects built or being constructed in Santa Monica under development agreements (DA) are in "good faith compliance."

LETTERS -- Fighting Rats, Saving Wildlife Requires Striking a Balance
We must pass AB 1788 to save our wildlife, and we must seek out safer non toxic methods to control an ever increasing potential of rat infestation.

City Council Designates Fifth Historic District, Second in Six Months
July 25, 2019 -- It took a quarter century to designate Santa Monica's first three historic districts. In six months, the City Council has designated the next two. On Tuesday, the Council with little discussion voted unanimously to designate a a cluster of early 20th Century buildings in Ocean Park as the beach city's fifth historic district.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Police Arrest Suspected Serial Rapist
July 25, 2019 -- A suspected serial rapist who attacked three women on Santa Monica's north side over the past five weeks was arrested by police on Monday

OPINION -- What Bernie Sanders' Campaign Can Teach Santa Monica
July 25, 2019-- Santa Monica hotel workers will soon learn what union employees on Bernie Sanders’ campaign are learning the hard way -- even the most well-intentioned plans come with unintended consequences, says the Center for Union Facts.

Person Infected with Measles Visited Two Santa Monica Locations Last Week, Health Officials Said
July 24, 2019 -- A Los Angeles County resident who contracted the measles after traveling abroad visited two Santa Monica locations while infected last week, LA County Public Health officials said Wednesday.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Rat Poison Bill Approaches Final Vote Amid Urban Rat Infestations
July 24, 2019 -- The fate of a Santa Monica lawmaker's bill to protect wildlife from lethal rat poisons will be decided as major California cities combat a rampant rise in rat populations that threatens to become a public health crisis.

Santa Monica Exhibit, Films Challenge View of California Coast
July 24, 2019 -- "There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience," environmentalist writer Edward Abbey once said. "And then there is California." The quote is the inspiration for an evening of screenings featuring short artist-created films Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m.

Deed Restriction to Protect Century Old Sycamore Has Not Been Signed
July 23, 2019 -- A deed restriction to safeguard a formerly landmarked sycamore tree has yet to be signed by the property owners, prompting a call by the tree's supporters to revisit the hotly contested issue.

City Approves Nearly $2.4 Million Contract to Troubleshoot Technology Issues
July 23, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to authorize a nearly $2.4 million contract to troubleshoot technology issues in "critical municipal systems" that function around the clock.

Santa Monica Poised to Reach Solar Benchmark for City Buildings
July 22, 2019 -- Santa Monica is expected to take a $2.6 million step Tuesday to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by installing solar panels on three City owned buildings. The contracts are part of the City's Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project to help meet its goal of making Santa Monica a carbon neutral city by 2050.

Popular Samohi Teacher, Coach Left Lasting Legacy
July 22, 2019 -- A memorial "pep rally" for Samohi teacher and track coach Patrick Cady -- who mentored generations of students and athletes during his 45 years with the School District -- will be held at the campus’ Greek Theater on August 25. Cady died June 8 after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

Santa Monica One of Three Cities Taking Part in "Shark Week" Beach Cleanup
July 22, 2019 -- The "poster child" for beach clean-ups is usually a seal, sea turtle or whale, but on Saturday, Santa Monica will be one of three cities participating in a beach cleanup that focuses on the most feared predator stalking the ocean -- the shark.

Council to Consider City's Fifth Historic District
July 19, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday will decide whether a cluster of early 20th Century buildings in Ocean Park should be designated Santa Monica's fifth historic district.

'Jazz On the Lawn' Returns for 14th Season Next Month
July 19, 2019 -- There'll be music, dancing and food at Santa Monica's Gandera Park every Sunday next month as Jazz on the Lawn returns for its 14th summer, City officials announced this week.

Moon Rocks and More at the Santa Monica College Planetarium Next Month July 19, 2019 -- What do you do with 842 pounds of moon rocks that have been locked in a vault for nearly 50 years? The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will have an answer next month.

Residents Torn Over Proposed Preferential Parking Zone
July 18, 2019 -- Over the years, few issues have inflamed the passions of Santa Monicans more than preferential parking, and the latest proposal to expand an existing zone near Venice is no exception.

Cities Nationwide File Briefs Supporting Santa Monica's Homesharing Law
July 18, 2019 -- Cities across the country are supporting Santa Monica's efforts to defend its homesharing law as a California Appeals Court decides whether to reconsider a case filed by online platforms.

Mural Near Samohi Commemorates Late Angels Pitcher Tyler Skaggs
July 18, 2019 -- A long throw away from the Samohi diamond where Tyler Skaggs became a top major league prospect, the image of the Angels pitcher, surrounded by an aura, looms on a storefront wall.

Police Arrest Wanted Man After Chase on Land and Water
July 17, 2019 -- A wanted man was arrested Wednesday morning near the Santa Monica Pier after leading police on a foot chase and trying to swim away.

City Engineer Promoted to Second in Command in Public Works
July 17, 2019 -- The City engineer who oversaw the project that helped clean up the beach by the Pier is Santa Monica's new assistant director of Public Works. Rick Valte, a nearly two-decades veteran of the department, will oversee a staff of more than 150.


EXTRA -- Santa Monica Grounds 250 Bird Scooters Amid Complaints, Inaccurate Data
July 16, 2019 -- The City of Santa Monica has reduced the number of e-scooters Bird can operate in its home city from 750 to 500 amid continued complaints and data "anomalies," according to a memorandum from the planning department released Monday.

Futuristic Architect Envisions Eco Crematorium Off Santa Monica Beach
July 16, 2019 -- A visionary London architect's conceptual renderings of a combination crematorium, memorial space and skate park off Santa Monica Beach is making a splash in the architecture world.

Santa Monica College Foundation Helps Woolsey Fire Victims
July 16, 2019 -- The Santa Monica College Foundation gave "relief awards" to five SMC students who lost their homes in last year's Woolsey Fire, school officials said Tuesday.

Founder of Santa Monica-Based Ring Addresses Rising Privacy Concerns
July 15, 2019 -- Amid growing privacy concerns, the founder of Santa Monica based Ring said on Monday that it is critical for the surveillance doorbell company to protect customers from hackers and malware.

Santa Monica Officer Shoots Man Resisting Arrest, According to Police
July 15, 2019 -- A Santa Monica police officer shot and wounded a man who ran toward a group of officers responding to a call near 10th Street and Pacific Avenue early Sunday morning, according to police.

Jazz Legend Bobby Bradford to Perform at Santa Monica Music Hot Spot -- The Public Library
July 15, 2019 -- Legendary jazz trumpeter Bobby Bradford next month will play at the Santa Monica Public Library, which has become a music hot spot in a city that has lost its most adventurous music venues. Bradford will bring his all-star band to the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium on Wednesday August 21.

Rent Board Recommends Allowing Tenants to Fight Zoning Code Violations
July 12, 2019 -- Tenants who violate the City's zoning code in their units should be allowed to mount a challenge even though the citation was filed against the building owner, the Rent Board decided Thursday.

Restaurant Week Offers Deals at 39 Santa Monica Eateries
July 12, 2019 -- If you've been tightening your fiscal belt and want to taste what you've been missing, 39 Santa Monica eateries are offering big discounts during dineL.A. Restaurant Week.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Santa Monica Building Owners Slow to Comply with City's Retrofit Law as Fear of Major Earthquake Looms
July 11, 2019 -- (UPDATED) As two major jolts and a swarm of aftershocks rattle Southern California, the vast majority of the owners of Santa Monica's most vulnerable buildings have yet to file evaluation reports under the City's seismic retrofit program, Planning Department records show.

Camera Obscura Art Lab Culminates Residencies with Multi-Media Performance
July 11, 2019 -- A collaborative multimedia performance featuring sculpture, movement and live music will conclude the residencies of composer Alex Wand and sculptor Dahn Gim at the Camera Obscuras Art Lab in Santa Monica this month.

Santa Monica College Ranks Third in International Students, According to Influential List
July 10, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) ranked third in the nation last year among community colleges with the most international students, according to a list published Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report.

After Successful Fight, Tree Ordinance Champion Fails to Retain Seat on Task Force
July 9, 2019 -- One month after the City Council finally took action on the citywide tree ordinance she had long championed, Grace Phillips failed to win reappointment to the Urban Forest Task Force due to an apparent bureaucratic glitch.

Santa Monica College Stages Musical Version of "Willy Wonka"
July 9, 2019 -- Popularized twice on the big screen, Willy Wonka will come alive in a Santa Monica College (SMC) student production of the popular children's story this month.

Santa Monica Council Chambers to Get High-Tech Makeover
July 8, 2019 -- A new high tech system that will be installed in the Santa Monica council chambers later this year will allow public officials to cast electronic votes and members of the public to sign up to speak using a kiosk in the lobby.

Santa Monica Newspaper Publisher Explains Why He Removed Tyler Skaggs Story
July, 8, 2019 -- A Santa Monica newspaper that sparked widespread outrage by speculating Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had died of an opioid overdose explained this weekend why it removed the story.

Santa Monica Seeks Creative Writers for Beach House Residency Program
July 8, 2019 -- Los Angeles County writers working on fiction, poetry or plays have until July 18 to apply for a writers residency offered by the City of Santa Monica. The residency at the Annenberg Community Beach House includes a private office for nine weeks.

Local Paper's Take on Former Samohi Star Tyler Skaggs' Death Sparks Outrage
July 3, 2019 -- A Santa Monica newspaper's speculation that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an opioid overdose was quickly denounced by the team and police, sparking international headlines.

Santa Monica Sidewalk Vending Program Off to a Good Start Despite Violations, City Officials Say
July 3, 2019 -- Over the 4th of July weekend, visitors to Santa Monica will likely run across some of the more than 60 sidewalk vendors jockeying for customers for the first time in 30 years.

Top Volunteers on Art, Tree Boards Fail to Win Reappointment
July 2, 2019 -- Arts Commission Vice Chair Corin Kahn -- who has protested the board's lack of involvement in major decisions -- was not reappointed by the City Council last week to a second term on the 13-member commission.

Two Santa Monica College STEM Students Headed for Harvard, MIT
July 2, 2019 -- Two Santa Monica College (SMC) STEM students are headed to Harvard and MIT for the summer, where they'll take part in prestigious residential programs.

Angels Pitcher, Former Samohi Star Found Dead at Age 27
July 1, 2019 -- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, a former Samohi baseball star and son of the school's longtime girls softball coach, died Monday in a Texas hotel room. He was 27.

Market Rate SROs Get Go-ahead Under Settlement Agreement
July 1, 2019 -- Six market-rate single room occupancy (SRO) developments slated for Downtown Santa Monica have received the go-ahead under a settlement agreement between the City and WS Communities.

Santa Monica Gears Up for Independence Day Parade
July 1, 2019 -- The 13th annual Fourth of July Parade, which will celebrate "the Year of the Woman," kicks off Thursday near City Hall at 9:30 a.m.

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