Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

December 2023 NewsList

TOP FALL STORIES -- Council Weighs in on Airport's Future, Cannabis Sales and Bird Feeding
TOP SUMMER STORIES -- Hotel Protests, Voting Rights and Maybe More Taxes
TOP SPRING STORIES -- Council Focuses on Homelessness, Housing, Crime as Staff-Driven Policies Fly Under Radar
TOP WINTER STORIES -- Disappearing Squirrels, Knife Attacks and an Electrification Roadmap

Man Arrested in Christmas Eve Stabbing
December 26, 2023 -- A man was arrested for attempted homicide after stabbing a resident in a Mid-City apartment building on Christmas Eve, according to police.

Unanimous Airport Vote Exposes Council Divisions
December 21, 2023 -- A unanimous vote by the City Council Tuesday to embark on the future of Santa Monica Airport revealed deep divisions over what options to consider.

Santa Monica to Boost Homeless Clean-Up Efforts
December 20, 2023 -- A clean-up crew contracted by the City to remove waste and debris left behind by the homeless could be brought "in-house" with expanded hours next spring, according to City officials.

Downtown Extends Free Parking, Bus Offers Free Rides
December 20, 2022 -- Motorists using Downtown's public parking structures will have three free hours to do their last-minute holiday shopping.

Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Friday
December 20, 2023 -- Santa Monica police will hold a DUI checkpoint Friday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at an undisclosed location, police officials announced this week.

Council Approves Raises for City Manager, Police Chief
December 19, 2023 -- Santa Monica's City Manager and Police Chief will receive salary bumps due to the domino effect triggered by an unusual clause in the City's union contract with police.

Police Investigate Menorah Vandalism Incident
December 18, 2023 -- Santa Monica police are investigating the vandalism of an eight-foot-tall menorah on Montana Avenue last Thursday afternoon amid a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes nationwide.

Council Takes Up Tax to Boost Traffic Safety
December 18, 2023 -- One month after taking steps to curb serious crashes involving bicyclists, the City Council on Tuesday will discuss boosting its efforts with a general tax on next November's ballot.

Rent Control Agency Hires New Director
December 15, 2023 -- After a nationwide search, Santa Monica's Rent Control Agency turned to a neighboring city to hire its new executive director.

SMC Planetarium to Explore Brown Dwarfs and Quantum Computers
December 15, 2023 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium next month will take a look at the recent discovery of the tiniest free-floating brown dwarf and discuss whether stars can provide a new source of clean energy.

Bicyclists Share Fault in Serious Crashes, Data Show
December 14, 2023 -- Bicyclists and motorists involved in serious crashes since 2010 have both been almost equally at fault, while the number of incidents has plummeted, according to City data.

Deputy City Manager Named As Part of Government Restructuring
December 14, 2023 -- Christopher Smith, who has worked at City Hall for 13 years, will assume the post of Deputy City Manager as part of a major restructuring of local government, City officials announced Wednesday.

Council to Take First Major Step in Airport Planning
December 13, 2023 -- The City Council next week is set to embark on one of the largest -- and most costly -- outreach efforts in Santa Monica history as it begins plotting the airport's future.

Police Seek Help Finding Missing Woman
December 13, 2013 -- (SUBJECT LOCATED) Police are looking for a woman who has not been seen since she left her Santa Monica apartment to walk to a grocery store nearly three weeks ago.

Santa Monica Native Becomes Mayor
December 12, 2023 -- Without the intrigue that for decades has accompanied the selection of a mayor, Councilmember Phil Brock on Tuesday became the first Santa Monica native to hold the post in 17 years.

Multi-Family Construction Expected to Boom in 2024
December 12, 2023 -- 2024 could be the strongest year for new apartment construction in decades, paving the way for a strong renters market nationwide, according to a report issued by Apartment List on Tuesday.

School District Reorganization Hearings Set to Start
December 11, 2023 -- Hearings to divide the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District into trustee areas will resume next month after efforts by the District and City to delay the process have failed.

Efforts to Restore The Civic Enter New Phase
December 8, 2023 -- Efforts to bring back Santa Monica's storied Civic Auditorium as an entertainment and cultural arts venue are picking up steam after State housing officials freed up the City to seek proposals from private developers.

County Program to Pay Landlords for Past-Due Rent
December 8, 2023 -- In an effort to stem evictions, LA County will pay qualified mom-and pop landlords negatively impacted by the COVID shutdown up to $30,000 in past-due rent per unit for existing tenants, County officials announced Friday.

Santa Monica Poised to Launch Ad Program in Downtown Parking Structures
December 7, 2023 -- Visitors using Santa Monica's Downtown public parking structures could soon be targeted with an advertising program expected to generate more than $1.2 million for the cash-strapped City over the next five years.

The Circus Could be Back in Town
December 6, 2023 -- Cirque Du Soleil could be back in town next year after a decade away, and it could give Santa Monica's economy a much needed boost, according to a staff report to the City Council.

Homeless Man Charged with Attempted Homicide in Palisades Park
December 6, 2023 -- A homeless man was arrested for attempted homicide after strangling another homeless man Friday morning in Palisades Park, according to police.

Poll Finds Support for Proposed Racial Profiling Policy
December 5, 2023 -- A slight majority of Santa Monica residents backs a proposed racial profiling policy that requires police officers to state the reason for all traffic stops on body-worn video, according to a monthly poll.

Suspects Wanted in Smash-and-Grab Retail Robbery
December 5, 2023 -- LA County's newly formed Organized Retail Crime Taskforce (ORCT) is looking for four masked suspects who made off with more than $50,000 in a smash-and-grab style robbery in Santa Monica this month.

Officer Tapped to Head City Tech Department Turns Down Job
December 4, 2023 -- Santa Monica's incoming Chief Information Officer has withdrawn her acceptance one month after being named to the top tech post, City officials announced Monday.

Police Reform Commission Approves Racial Profiling Policy, Again
December 1, 2023 -- In a hastily called meeting, the City's Police Reform Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a pretextual stop policy after its previous vote was deemed invalid.

Memorial Park Accommodates Pickleball Craze
December 1, 2023 -- To accommodate the growing demand for pickleball, Santa Monica's Memorial Park is now offering reservations for court time and select sessions, City officials announced Thursday.

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