Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- APRIL 2020

City Gives Tenants Strapped by Coronavirus Shutdown One Year to Pay Back Rent
April 30, 2020 -- Santa Monica tenants who can show they were unable to pay rent due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus crackdown will have a year to come up with the back rent.

Headlines Show How Santa Monica Overspent Its Way Into a Gaping Fiscal Hole Before Coronavirus Hit
April 30, 2020 -- As Santa Monica prepares to make the most radical cuts in staffing and services in its 145-year history, here are some of the headlines that help explain how it got into such a deep financial hole before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Death Toll Higher at Two Santa Monica Nursing Homes than City At Large
April 29, 2020 -- The number of residents at Santa Monica nursing homes who have died while infected with the coronavirus rose to 12 on Wednesday, more than the number of deaths citywide.

City Manager Lays Out Plan to Fill "Gaping Holes" in Budget
April 29, 2020 -- During an online meeting with municipal employees Wednesday, Santa Monica City Manager Lane Dilg outlined a plan to fill "gaping holes" in the budget that includes department mergers and widespread layoffs by May 30.

Supplemental Order Pauses Deadlines for Building Projects
April 28, 2020 -- Building deadlines have been paused, hotel stays can last longer than 30 days and the City's gift policy has been waived for first responders under Santa Monica's latest emergency order.

Tenth Coronavirus Death Reported in Santa Monica Nursing Homes
April 28, 2020 -- Los Angeles County health officials on Monday reported that eight of the 11 healthcare workers who have died of the coronavirus worked in skilled nursing facilities. It is not known if any of them are among the 10 deaths reported in Santa Monica nursing homes.

Council Poised to Change Public Input Rules for Remote Meetings
April 27, 2020 -- The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to allow the public to call in during meetings held via teleconferencing during the coronavirus emergency.

OPINION -- A Plan for a Bright Future
April 27, 2020 -- When the current public health orders are lifted, returning to a regular rhythm of life will not be as simple as flipping a switch, City Manager Lane Dilg writes.

Santa Monica Reaches 150 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
April 27, 2020 -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica reached 150 on Sunday after three cases were reported in the beach city over the weekend. The city saw a spike in cases this week likely due to a jump in testing and results reported.

LETTERS -- It's Time the Politicians Provided Some Meaningful Information
April 27, 2020 -- The idea that we continue to close the entire economy, let along public parks and beaches to millions of Americans not at much greater risk than they are during a typical flu season is absurd.

Former City Manager to Receive 7 Months Pay After Resigning During Coronavirus Emergency
April 24, 2020 -- Former City Manager Rick Cole is poised to collect his $343,000 annual salary over the next seven months after he stepped down from the City's top post last week during the coronavirus emergency.

Three New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Santa Monica
April 24, 2020 -- There were three new coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica Friday, with the number of deaths in local nursing homes holding steady after nine were reported Thursday.

Nine Deaths Confirmed at Santa Monica Nursing Homes
April 23, 2020 -- Nine people infected with the coronavirus have died in Santa Monica nursing homes, as the death toll in Los Angeles County reached an average of 44 per day, more than die of heart disease, health officials said Thursday.

CDC Warns of Coronavirus Spread in Homeless Shelters
April 23, 2020 -- Isolating the homeless in shelters -- as Los Angeles has been doing -- could further the spread of the coronavirus, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Suspended Saint John's Nurses to Return to Work
April 22, 2020 -- Ten nurses at Providence Saint John’s Health Center who were suspended for refusing to treat patients with COVID-19 without N95 respirator masks will return to work, hospital officials said Tuesday.

County Health Officials Urge Social Distancing as Weather Beckons
April 22, 2020 -- With a string of balmy days in store for Southern California, Los Angeles health officials on Wednesday urged residents to continue observing health protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Cases Escalate in LA County, Santa Monica as Test Backlogs Clear
April 21, 2020 -- Results from a backlog of coronavirus tests continued inflating the number of cases confirmed Tuesday in Los Angeles County, and likely in Santa Monica, which has seen cases spike to 20 so far this week.

Application Period for Santa Monica Housing Programs Opens May 1
April 21, 2020 -- Santa Monica will begin accepting applications for its Section 8 and Below Market Housing (BMH) programs on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8 a.m., housing officials announced last week.

EXTRA -- Coronavirus Fatality Rate "Much Lower" Than Previously Thought, LA County Health Officials Say
April 20, 2020 -- The coronavirus is far more widespread and far less deadly in Los Angeles County than health officials previously thought, according to a study released by health officials Monday.

Santa Monica Marks Fewest Weekly Coronavirus Cases in a Month
April 20, 2020 -- There were 23 new coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica last week, the lowest weekly toll in nearly a month, according to data released by the Los Angeles County Health Department Sunday.

LETTERS -- Addressing Santa Monica’s Impending Financial Crisis
April 20, 2020 -- Attempting to preserve a panoply of budget items with various budget cuts will simply create a boondoggle of political haranguing among politicians and the insidious special interests that populate our city.

EXTRA! -- City Attorney Lane Dilg Tapped to Run Santa Monica During Historic Crisis
April 18, 2020 -- The City Council on Saturday tapped City Attorney Lane Dilg to steer Santa Monica through the biggest crisis in its 145-year history after a coronavirus shutdown paralyzed its economic and social life. Dilg will replace Rick Cole as City Manager on an interim basis after his abrupt resignation Friday.

Cole Resigns as Santa Monica City Manager
April 17, 2020 -- City Manager Rick Cole offered his resignation Friday afternoon after coming under increasing pressure for his handling of the corinavirus emergency.

OPNION -- City Manager Rick Cole's Parting Words
April 17, 2020 -- The need to deal with a projected $300 million dollar shortfall over the next 26 months puts us all in a nearly impossible situation.

OPINION -- Message from Mayor Kevin McKeown
April 17, 2020 -- For the past five years, Rick Cole’s leadership in Santa Monica has overseen changes as momentous as the coming of Expo Light Rail and the agreement with the FAA to permanently close the airport.

Santa Monica Marks 100th Coronavirus Case
April 16, 2020 -- Santa Monica marked its 100th confirmed coronavirus case on Thursday, bringing this week's total to eight, as Los Angeles County reported its third straight day of record deaths.

Council Approves Voluntary Separation Program for Santa Monica City Workers
April 15, 2020 -- Hoping to avert massive layoffs due to the coronavirus shutdown, the City Council on Tuesday voted to offer lump sum payments to full-time municipal workers who voluntarily leave their jobs.

How Santa Monica's Downtown Is Dealing with "Surreal" Reality
April 16, 2020 -- How do you manage a public space when there's no public left to manage? That's the conundrum Downtown Santa Monica officials have been grappling with as the coronavirus emergency declared March 13 forced a government-mandated closure of nearly every business.

Santa Monica Extends Coronavirus Orders Through May 15
April 15, 2020 -- The City Council on Tuesday extended a series of strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus through May 15, bringing the local orders in line with those imposed for Los Angeles County.

LETTERS -- All Power is in the Voting Booth, Not a Petition
April 15, 2020 -- Residents can hope to hire Winston Churchill to be the City Manager and it won't make any difference if the Council members remain.

Petition Calls for Santa Monica City Manager's Firing
April 15, 2020 -- A petition to fire City Manager Rick Cole for "abusing power while the City is in a state of emergency" has gathered nearly 2,0000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Remain Steady as County Reports Sudden Spike
April 14, 2020 -- Four new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica on Tuesday, following none on Monday, while Los Angeles County saw its biggest spike in deaths since the first was reported more than a month ago.

EXTRA! -- City Faces $226 Million Budget Gap Due to Coronavirus Shutdown
April 13, 2020 -- The City of Santa Monica faces a $226 million budget gap by July 2021 that will force it to immediately slash services and offer buyouts to several hundred employees, according to a staff report to the City Council released Monday.

Coronavirus Cases See Weekly Drop in Santa Monica
April 13, 2020 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped to 24 last week, while Los Angeles County surpassed the number of deaths reported during the severe 2017-18 flu season.

SMC to Hold "Virtual" Graduation Ceremony
April 13, 2020 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will hold its 90th graduation ceremony online on June 16 in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, school officials announced last week.

District Attorney Warns of "Stimulus Check" Scam
April 13, 2020 -- Los Angeles County residents should beware of scam artists attempting to defraud them by promising to send quick stimulus payments, the District Attorney's Office announced last week.

Santa Monica Sees One-Day Jump in Coronavirus Cases as County Curve Flattens
April 10, 2020 -- Six new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica on Friday, up from one on Thursday, as Los Angeles County Health officials reported a "flattening of the curve "some epidemiologists warn will prolong the pandemic.

Let’s Ask the Medical Professionals a Question
April 10, 2020 -- How many future lives will be potentially destroyed for each additional day, week and month that you continue your ‘mitigation’ efforts in its present form?

New Coronavirus Cases Drop to One in Santa Monica as Curve Flattens
April 9, 2020 -- There was one new coronavirus case reported in Santa Monica Thursday, as the number of incidents in both the city and Los Angeles County leveled off this week.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Workers, Customers Must Wear Face Coverings or Face Fines
April 9, 2020 -- Customers and workers at Santa Monica businesses open during the coronavirus emergency must wear face coverings starting Friday or face fines of up to $500 for patrons and $1,000 for businesses.

LETTERS -- City Deals Another Blow to Property Rights with New Emergency Order
April 9, 2020 -- Santa Monica's expanded order to protect tenants during the coronavirus emergency further hurts housing prroviders seeking a glimpse of hope.

Santa Monica Further Strengthens Tenant Protections During Coronavirus Emergency
April 8, 2020 -- Santa Monica on Wednesday expanded tenant protections during the coronavirus emergency and hiked the maximum fine for landlords who violate the City's tenant harassment ordinance.

Nearly One in Four Renters Nationwide Failed to Make Their Full April Payment, Survey Finds
April 8, 2020 -- One quarter of U.S. tenants were unable to pay their April rents in full during the coronavirus emergency, with more than 10 percent making no payment at all, according to a survey by Apartment List.

New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Continue Holding Steady
April 8, 2020 -- There were three new coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica Tuesday, as the number of daily cases in Los Angeles County remained below Saturday's high.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Few Tenants Fail to Pay April Rent, Landlords Fear Numbers Will Rapidly Grow
April 7, 2020 -- Santa Monica landlords fear the trickle of tenants who who failed to pay their April rent due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus crackdown could swell in coming months, straining their finances.

Six New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Bring Total to 74
April 6, 2020 -- Six new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica on Monday, while the number of cases in Los Angeles County dropped for a second day in a row.

New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Hold Steady, As County Death Toll Drops
April 6, 2020 -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica held steady this week, while Los Angeles County saw a steep drop in the number of deaths -- from 28 on Saturday to 15 on Sunday.

OPINION -- Fence Palisades Park? Really?
April 6, 2020 -- Perhaps the silliest coronavirus response from our Santa Monica political leadership so far is the fencing of Palisades Park along the west side of Ocean Avenue -- at least that area north of Wilshire.

Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Spike to Record Highs, as Santa Monica's Contamination Rate Levels
April 4, 2020 -- On a day that saw Los Angeles County easily surpass its daily highs for new coronavirus cases and deaths, Santa Monica tallied three new cases, down from six on Friday.

Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Reach 62 After Six New Cases Reported Friday
April 3, 2020 -- The number of new coronavirus cases in Santa Monica rose by six on Friday, bringing the total to 62, as Los Angeles County's count held steady for the fourth straight day.

Santa Monica College Provides Meals to Needy Students During Coronavirus Emergency
April 3, 2020 -- Some 750 meals were distributed to Santa Monica College (SMC) students who are "food insecure" at an inaugural drive-thru pantry on Thursday, school officials said.

Three New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in Santa Monica
April 2, 2020 -- Three cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Santa Monica Thursday, bringing the total number to 56, as Los Angeles County health officials reported 13 news deaths.

California Appeals Court Upholds Conviction in Samohi Grad's Murder
April 2, 2020 -- A state appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a Santa Monica man for shooting to death a Samohi graduate after a brief run-in near a local liquor store.

City Orders Construction Projects to Follow Coronavirus Protocols
April 1, 2020 -- Santa Monica issued an order Wednesday authorizing the City’s Building Officer to shut down construction work on projects that fail to follow social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Pass 50 Mark
April 1, 2020 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica reached 53 on Wednesday, as Los Angeles County health officials reported 11 deaths, the highest daily toll to date.

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