Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Santa Monica Rents Drop Again in June
June 30, 2023 -- Santa Monica rents fell for the second month in a row, dropping to the lowest level in more than a year, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report released Thursday.

Pier Waters Under Health Advisory As Large Crowds Expected This Weekend
June 30, 2023 -- The large crowds expected to flock to Santa Monica Beach to escape a heat wave over the Independence Day weekend should avoid wading into the waters near the Pier.

LA County's Homeless Population Continues Rising
June 29, 2023 -- Los Angeles County's homeless population rose 9 percent last year, reaching an estimated 75,518 people, nearly three-quarters of them living on the streets, according to results of the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count released Thursday.

Monthly Poll Finds Little Support for Measure Restricting Guns
June 28, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with public safety found that the majority oppose a proposed law that would place restrictions on gun sales and ownership.

Conductors Wanted: No Experience Needed
June 28, 2023 -- You don't need to read music or have experience conducting to shape musical improvisations at an open public workshop presented by Soundwaves in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Court Tries to Pin Down Voting Rights Standards
June 27, 2023 -- During oral arguments Tuesday in the voting rights case against the City, the California Supreme Court focused on how to interpret a law that sets no numerical threshold and fails to define key words.

Downtown to Add More Private Security
June 27, 2023 -- Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) will add another layer of private security to work with police under a $1.7 million contract approved by the agency's board this month.

Coastal Commission Delays Could Kill New Malibu HS Building, District Officials Warn
June 26, 2023 -- A plan to build a new Malibu High School building is being jeopardized by delays at the California Coastal Commission, School District officials said Monday.

Council Could Seek to Squirrel Away Travel Funds
June 26, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to re-appropriate travel funds its members haven't spent "to supplement existing Council Discretionary funds" in the upcoming fiscal year.

Final Showdown Tuesday In Voting Rights Case
June 23, 2023 -- The final showdown in a seven-year voting rights lawsuit against the City -- which could alter the future of both state and local politics -- will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, when the California Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case.

Rents to Rise 2.8 Percent in September
June 23, 2023 -- The Rent Control Board on Thursday approved a mandated 2.8 percent rent increase that kicks in September 1 and opted to place a $67 cap.

OPINION -- Traffic Stops and Race
June 23, 2023 -- Are traffic stops in Santa Monica racially discriminatory? Thanks to the CA Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA), we now have data from SMPD to help answer this question.

Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Friday
June 22, 2023 -- Santa Monica police will hold a DUI checkpoint on June 30, weeks after a a drunk driver severely injured a pedestrian in a sobering reminder of the consequences of driving under the influence.

Council To Take Up Airport Contracts
June 22, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday is poised to approve contracts to upgrade the Santa Monica Airport runway and provide leasing services for commercial spaces on the 227-acre site.

Mars, Meteors and a Motion Picture of the Universe
June 21, 2023 -- "Universal Pictures" will take on a new meaning at The Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium next month with a look at a cutting-edge telescope that can take a motion picture of all that we think exists.

Longtime Santa Monica Activist Who Helped Preserve Coastal Skyline Dead at 79
June 20, 2023 -- Julie Lopez Dad -- a slow-growth tenant activist known for her commitment, intelligence and kindness -- died Saturday at age 79 in her Ocean Park apartment. The cause of death has not been determined.

Celebrate America' Returns After 3-Year Hiatus
June 20, 2023 -- Sidelined for three years by the COVID emergency, "Celebrate America" -- the city's only fireworks display marking the nation’s independence -- will return this year.

Homeless Bank Robber Arrested
June 20, 2023 -- A homeless man from out of state was arrested Tuesday morning after robbing a bank in Downtown Santa Monica, according to police.

Iconic Hotel, Former Department Store Win Preservation Awards
June 16, 2023 -- The rehabilitation of two prominent Downtown buildings and projects that chronicle the history of two minority neighborhoods are the winners of the Santa Monica Conservancy 2023 Preservation Awards.

Santa Monica Celebrates Juneteenth
June 16, 2023 -- Santa Monica will hold the 31st annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday at Virginia Avenue Park, while City Hall and other public facilities will close on Monday.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Drafting 'Cutting Edge' Gun Law
June 15, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday unanimously directed staff to draft an ordinance that would be the "best gold standard" for placing restrictions on gun sales and ownership.

Santa Monica Pier Is California's Most Polluted Beach
June 15, 2023 -- The Santa Monica Pier is the most polluted beach in California, earning straight Fs that landed it on Heal the Bay's notorious Beach Bummer List for the second straight year.

Residents Urge Stronger Action to Curb Growing Homeless Problem
June 14, 2023 -- More than a dozen Santa Monica residents took to the podium at Tuesday's City Council meeting to share their personal encounters with the homeless and urge stronger action to curb crime and anti-social behavior.

Council Jacks Up Solid Waste Rates After 3-Year Freeze
June 14, 2023 -- With one public speaker and no discussion, the City Council on Tuesday approved solid waste rate hikes that will result in steady increases over the next five years.

EXTRA -- Council Takes Up Lawsuits Stemming from 2020 Riots
June 13, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday took up four lawsuits -- including a federal case filed by Black Lives Matter (BLM) -- claiming the City violated the rights of protestors during the May 31, 2020 riots in Santa Monica.

Council Approves Nearly $13 Million in Contracts
June 13, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved half a dozen five-year contracts totaling nearly $13 million for services ranging from private security at parking structures to maintenance of police radio operations.

Historical Novels Featured in Summer Reading Program
October 12, 2023 -- Two historical novels about Asian women set more than 400 years apart are the subjects of a Santa Monica Library reading program that runs through August 12.

Council Poised to Approve $2.2 Million Contract for Parking Structure Security
June 12, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to extend for five years a pilot program that provides overnight security patrols credited with lowering crime at City parking structures in the Downtown area.

Transportation Director Ed King to Retire
June 9, 2023 -- Ed King -- who rose through the transportation ranks from traffic checker to bus driver to eventually heading Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) -- is retiring after 46 years of service, City officials announced Friday.

Former School District Employee Kills Himself During Police Standoff
June 9, 2023 -- A former custodian for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) fatally shot himself early Monday morning during a standoff with Santa Monica police who were attempting to serve him with an arrest warrant.

Impact of Supreme Court Ruling on Local Voting Rights Case Debatable
June 8, 2023 -- A surprise U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday striking down Alabama's congressional map is a major victory for minority voters, but its impact on the voting rights lawsuit against Santa Monica is debatable.

SMC Student Team Wins Design Competition
June 8, 2022 -- A team of Santa Monica College (SMC) design students won a competition to re-imagine MaCher, Inc. products by redesigning a travel carry bag for consumer electronics, school officials announced this week.

Transfer Tax Hike Lawsuit Hearing Set for August
June 7, 2023 -- The parties in a lawsuit that seeks to void Santa Monica's transfer tax hike have filed motions for a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court set for August 3.

Pier Waters Under Health Advisory
June 7, 2023 -- Los Angeles County health officials have issued an advisory for the water around the Santa Monica Pier, which exceeds State standards for bacteria.

OPINION -- A Call for Action from the Trenches
June 7, 2023 -- Things are very dire in Santa Monica. Locals and tourists are not wanting to come to downtown SM due to the appalling conditions we see on a daily basis and it is hugely affecting our businesses.

Solid Waste Rates Set to Rise
June 6, 2023 -- Single-family customers in Santa Monica could see their bi-monthly solid waste bill rise over the next five years -- from about $84 to $141 -- under rate hikes the City Council will take up Tuesday.

Plane Flips While Landing at Santa Monica Airport
June 6, 2023 -- A single-engine Cessna plane flipped as it landed at Santa Monica Airport Monday afternoon, marking the third accident involving the City's airport in nine months.

Few Approve of Council's Performance, Poll Finds
June 5, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents found that crime and homelessness remain the top concerns, while few approve of the new City Council's performance so far.

Pedestrian in Critical Condition, Driver Arrested for Felony DUI
June 5, 2023 -- A drunk driver crashed and severely injured a pedestrian sitting on a bus bench shortly before midnight Friday, according to police.

Council Weighs in on Nearly $1.5 Billion Proposed Biennial Budget
June 2, 2023 -- Last week, the City Council weighed in on a proposed biennial budget totaling more than $1.487 billion, an increase of some $114 million over the previous two-year fiscal budget.

SMC Fashion Students to Showcase Their Designs
June 2, 2023 -- LA Mode 2023 -- the Santa Monica College (SMC) Fashion Program's annual show on June 16 -- will feature a dozen student collections inspired by eclectic global styles.

School Board Hires District Administrator as Superintendent
June 1, 2023 -- After an "arduous national search," the School Board on Thursday tapped one of its own, unanimously voting to promote District Executive Director Dr. Antonio M. Shelton to superintendent.

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