Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

City's Wellbeing Summit to Cost Nearly $250,000
October 31, 2019 -- The City of Santa Monica's Wellbeing Summit next month -- meant to "spark conversation and action around community wellbeing" -- will cost $242,500, which will be paid for by sponsors.

Medical Costs Rising at Santa Monica Jail
October 31, 2019 -- Medical costs at Santa Monica jail are "significantly" rising as more arrestees than expected need medical attention, according to police.

SMC's Synapse Dance Theater to Showcase New Works This Weekend
October 31, 2019 -- Black churches and the concentration camps of WWII are among the inspirations for new dance pieces performed by Santa Monica College’s Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater this weekend.

Santa Monica Firefighters Battling Two Major Fires
October 30, 2019 -- Santa Monica firefighters have been helping battle raging wildfires near their own back yard and hundreds of miles north in wine country.

Beware of Price-Gauging During Fire Emergency, City Officials Warn
October 30, 2019 -- As wildfires rage just north of Santa Monica's border, the City Attorneys office on Wednesday cautioned residents to be wary of price-gauging.

'Random' Homeless Killing Marks City's Third Homicide This Year
October 29, 2019 -- A homeless man who was beaten with a shovel in a Downtown alley last month was Santa Monica's third homicide victim this year.

Struggling Rent Control Seniors Can Register for Cash Assistance Next Month
October 28, 2019 -- Rent-burdened Santa Monica seniors can begin registering for financial assistance next month under an expanded City funded program that helps cover their basic needs.

Santa Monica College Emeritus Band to Perform 'Eclectic' Concert
October 29, 2019 -- The Beach Boys' surf sounds and Pixar soundtracks will be featured at a free concert by Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band on Sunday, November 3 in the Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center.

EXTRA -- Getty Fire Shuts Down Local Schools, City Issues Smoke Warnings
October 28, 2019 -- Santa Monica schools are closed, the City is issuing smoke warnings and a major stretch of the 405 has been closed as the Getty Fire burned out of control Friday.

Audit Subcommittee to No Longer Take Ethics Complaints
October 28, 2019 -- Santa Monica's audit subcommittee -- created four years ago to increase financial transparency -- will no longer directly receive and respond to ethics complaints.

Santa Monica College's Largest Debate Team Takes Nearly a Dozen Awards
October 28, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) fielded its largest debtae team ever and walked away with nearly a dozen individual and team awards at the Crossman Invitational Tournament this month.

City to Purchase 18 More Electric Buses
October 24, 2019 -- Santa Monica is so pleased with its first electric bus that hit the streets in August, the City is ordering 18 more at a total cost of $19 million.

Santa Monica Library to Showcase the Strange Sounds of Harry Partch
October 24, 2019 -- The other-worldly sounds of Harry Partch -- one of America's most eccentric artist-inventors -- will be showcased at the Santa Monica Public Library next month.

EXTRA -- Two Suspects Charged in 2017 Santa Monica "Party Bus" Shooting
October 23, 2019 -- Two suspects have been charged in the high-profile "party bus" shooting near the Santa Monica Pier that left a young woman dead and injured three others nearly two years ago.

Council Curbs Spread of Super-Sized Homes
October 23, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday took a bite out of the super-sized "McMansions" many residents fear are encroaching on their streets. The vote capped a lengthy process that pitted neighbors in single-family districts across the increasingly expensive city.

Library Bookstore Sale Offers Antiquarian Finds
October 23, 2019 -- Next month, bibliophiles -- and buyers for area bookstores -- will line up before the doors open for the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library Bookstore's big annual sale Saturday, November 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

FAA Confirms City's Use of Airport Funds to Shorten Runway
October 22, 2019 -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday determined that Santa Monica can use aviation funds to remove the pavement left over after the airport runway was shortened.

Cost of Boosting Security at Santa Monica Airport Rising
October 22, 2019 -- A plan to enhance security at Santa Monica Airport will likely be delayed after the only bid came in at more than twice the City's estimate.

Santa Monica Wins State's First Court Order Enforcing Low-Income Housing Restriction
October 21, 2019 -- Santa Monica is likely the first California city to win a judgment against a property owner for renting a low-income unit to a tenant who doesn't meet the income qualifications.

Jury Recommends Serial Killer Caught in Santa Monica Be Put to Death
October 21, 2019 -- It took jurors less than five hours on Friday to decide that Michael Gargiulo, known as the "Hollywood Ripper," should be put to death.

Man Fatally Shoots Himself During Officer Involved Shooting, Police Say
October 21, 2019 -- A suspect fleeing police fatally shot himself during an officer involved shooting in Ocean Park late Sunday night, according to Santa Monica police. The fatal confrontation took place on the beach shortly before midnight.

City Files Opening Brief in Voting Rights Appeal
October 18, 2019 -- An opening appellate brief filed Friday by the City argues that upholding the trial court's decision in the voting rights case would dilute, instead of enhance, Latino voting strength.

"Muir Woods" Mural Gets Reprieve from School Board
October 18, 2019 -- The mural of a redwood forest that has graced the walls of a public school in Santa Monica for 40 years will stay in place, at least for now, the School Board decided Thursday.

Pier Shooting Was Gang Related, Police Say
October 17, 2019 -- Wednesday's night's shooting in a Santa Monica Pier parking lot that injured one man was triggered by an encounter between two gangs, police said.

Shooting at Pier Wednesday Night Puts Santa Monica Back in the Crime News
October 17, 2019 -- A man was shot in the leg Wednesday night in the parking lot north of the Pier, causing panicked visitors to flee from the scene and putting Santa Monica back in the crime news.

SMC Drescher Planetarium Focuses on Telescopes, Second Moon Landing
October 17, 2019 -- Buying that budding astronomer a telescope for the holidays is no easy task, but the Santa Monica College planetarium can help make it easier.

Consultant Presents Recommendations to Better Detect and Prevent Abuse at City Youth Programs
October 16, 2019 -- The City of Santa Monica plans to establish a Youth Protection Committee to oversee efforts to detect and prevent the sexual abuse of children at City-run youth programs.

City Hires Two Labs to Conduct Water Quality Tests
October 16, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved contracts totaling more than $3 million with two laboratories that will analyze Santa Monica's water quality over the next five years.

Homeless Man Sentenced in Cold Case Killings of Two Women in Santa Monica
October 16, 2019 -- A homeless man who won a reprieve last year on charges he murdered two homeless women in Santa Monica nearly two decades ago will serve 22 years in state prison for voluntary manslaughter.

Prominent Santa Monica Sex Offenders Excluded from Megan's List
October 15, 2019 -- Two convicted sex offenders who made headlines when they were arrested in Santa Monica and charged with possession of child pornography are not required to appear on Megan's list, according to law enforcement officials.

OPINION -- How the City of Santa Monica Failed Our Children
October 15, 2019 -- The City of Santa Monica's failure to put the safety and wellbeing of children first in City-run programs created an organizational culture that put our children at risk, writes School Board member Oscar de la Torre.

Santa Monica College to Hold 90th Anniversary Celebration
October 15, 2019 -- Santa Monica Colllege (SMC) will celebrate its 90th anniversary next week with a celebration that includes a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Student Services Center.

Angels Employee Supplied Skaggs, Other Players with Opiates
October 14, 2019 -- A Los Angeles Angels employee said Sunday he supplied former Samohi graduate Tyler Skaggs with oxycodone for years but doesn't believe it was his pills that killed the pitcher.

City to Temporarily Relocate Parks Maintenance Staff to Airport
October 14, 2019 -- The City plans to temporarily move its parks maintenance staff from Memorial Park to Santa Monica Airport in January to pave the way for the park's expansion, City officials said.

Santa Monica Review's New Issue Showcases "Genre-Boundless" Works
September 14, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Review will host a launch party this month for what its editor describes as an "especially rich, powerful" issue that features "a surprising if welcome number of love stories."

Consultant to Present Recommendations in Wake of Child Molestation Charges
October 10, 2019 -- A consultant will present the City Council next Tuesday with recommendations on how officials might have detected and prevented an alleged series of sex crimes by a City employee who volunteered at a youth program.

Measles Patient Visited Two Santa Monica Locations Monday, Health Officials Say
October 10, 2019 -- A person with measles visited two Santa Monica locations Monday, potentially exposing others to the contagious disease, Los Angeles County Health officials said Monday.

SMC Receives Nearly $2.5 Million Grant to Help "Underrepresented" STEM Students
October 10, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has received a nearly $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help Hispanic and low-income students succeed in STEM fields and careers, college officials announced this week.

Rent Board to Consider Expiration Dates for Removal Permits
October 9, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Rent Board on Thursday will consider a regulation that sets expiration dates for permits that allow an owner to remove units or entire properties from the rental market.

Bloom's "Granny Flat" Measure Signed Into Law
October 9, 2019 -- A measure by Santa Monica Assemblymenber Richard Bloom that reduces barriers to building accessory dwelling units (ADU), or "granny flats," was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday.

De la Torre to Step Down as Head of Pico Youth Center
October 9, 2019 -- Oscar de la Torre -- whose Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) has served at-risk youth for nearly two decades -- announced he will resign as the center's executive director at the end of the year.

Crime Dropped in Santa Monica During First Nine Months of Year, Police Data Show
October 8, 2019 -- There were 599 fewer reported crimes in Santa Monica during the first nine months of this year, a nearly 15 percent drop over the same period last year, according to data released by the Santa Monica Police Department Tuesday.

Governor Signs Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill That Closes Ellis "Loopholes"
October 8, 2019 -- A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that closes loopholes in the State Ellis Act was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.

Downtown Santa Monica Among Nation's Most Expensive Zip Codes for Renters
October 7, 2019 -- Downtown Santa Monica ranked among the nation's 50 most expensive zip codes to rent an apartment, but was topped by four other areas around Los Angeles, according to an annual ranking by an online rental website.

Trial of "Hollywood Ripper" Arrested in Santa Monica Enters Penalty Phase
October 7, 2019 -- On Monday, jurors in the trial of a convicted serial killer arrested by Santa Monica police were back in court to recommend whether Michael Gargiulo should be put to death.

Santa Monica College Holds Homecoming Celebration This Month
October 7, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will hold a homecoming celebration before the Corsairs take on the LA Harbor College Seahawks October 19.

SPECIAL REPORT Santa Monica Tops List of Westside Cities with Most Registered Sex Offenders
October 4, 2019 -- (UPDATED) There are 55 registered sex offenders currently living Santa Monica, twice as many as in any other community on the Westside, according to an analysis by the Lookout.

Boston Mobster's Santa Monica Years to Be Featured in Upcoming TV Series
October 4, 2019 -- Santa Monica will be a major setting for an upcoming television series about the pursuit of notorious Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, who called the beach city home for more than 15 years.

Local Boys and Girls Clubs Celebrate "75 Years of Great Futures"
October 4, 2019 -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica will celebrate 75 years serving the city's youth with a Diamond Gala next month. The event will take place Friday, November 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

EXTRA -- Federal Appeals Court Upholds Santa Monica's Home Sharing Law
October 3, 2019 -- A Federal Appeals Court on Thursday rejected a potential class-action lawsuit against the City that claimed its home sharing law, which bans leasing residential property short term unless the owner is present, is unconstitutional.

Suspect Escapes After Attempting to Rob Couple on Montana Avenue at Gunpoint
October 3, 2019 -- An armed suspect remains at large after attempting to rob a couple sitting in their car on Montana Avenue Wednesday night, police said.

Santa Monica College Debate Team Kicks Off Season with Big Wins
October 3, 2019 -- The Santa Monica College Speech and Debate team took over where the national champions left off last year, winning several top awards in the 2019-2020 season's first tournament.

Santa Monica Activists Relaunch Campaign to Save "Muir Woods" Mural
October 2, 2019 -- Five years after Santa Monica activists launched a campaign to save the "Muir Woods" mural at the former site of Olympic High School, the School Board could try once again this month to erase it.

Council Chamber to Temporarily Close for High-Tech Upgrade
October 2, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council will hold its next six meetings at the Civic Auditorium while the council chamber gets a new nearly half-million-dollar audiovisual system.

Iconic Santa Monica Video Store to Reopen in Eagle Rock
October 1, 2019 -- Nearly three years after Vidiots shuttered the colorful brick Santa Monica storefront it occupied for three decades, the iconic video store has found a new home.

St. John's Receives Anonymous $25 Million Donation

October 1, 2019 -- St. John's Health Center has received an anonymous $25 million donation that will "kick-start" a $150 million fundraising effort, the center's Foundation announced Tuesday.

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