Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Santa Monica Rents Drop During Peak Moving Season
May 31, 2023 -- Following a brief two-month rise, rents in Santa Monica dropped by -0.9 percent in May and have fallen -0.4 percent so far this year, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report released Wednesday.

Local Store Clerk Cited for Selling Alcohol to a Minor
May 31, 2023 -- A Santa Monica store faces administrative action from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) after police cited a clerk for selling alcohol to a minor, SMPD officials announced Wednesday.

Theft Drives Crime Hike in Santa Monica
May 30, 2023 -- The number of serious crimes reported in Santa Monica rose by 14 percent during the first quarter of 2023, driven by a spike in larceny, according to SMPD crime data released last week.

Two Men Charged with Burglary, Mail Theft
May 30, 2022 -- County prosecutors last week filed residential burglary and mail theft charges against two men caught on camera stealing mail from a Santa Monica apartment complex in Ocean Park.

Homeless Man Assaults, Stabs Tourists on Pier
May 30, 2023 -- A homeless man assaulted two women and stabbed two men who came to their defense in separate incidents Saturday night at the Santa Monica Pier, according to police.

Uller Sex Abuse Filings Could Trickle In For Years
May 23, 2023 -- When the City Council last month voted to settle the remaining sexual abuse cases filed by 124 plaintiffs against the City, officials announced the closure of a tragic chapter in Santa Monica history.

U.S. Ambassador to Address SMC Graduating Class
May 25, 2023 -- A U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations will address Santa Monica College's (SMC) 2023 graduating class at the first in-person commencement ceremony to be held live since 2019, school officials announced this week.

Council Beefs Up Security at Pier, Downtown Parks
May 24, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve two contracts totaling nearly $2 million to beef up security at the Pier and at three Downtown parks.

Santa Monica Is Third Least Affordable City for Home Buyers
May 23, 2023 -- Santa Monica is the third least affordable city in the country to buy a home, according to an analysis of 300 U.S. cities by WalletHub released Tuesday.

Police to Be on Lookout for Violations Involving Motorcyclists
May 23, 2023 -- Extra officers will be patrolling Santa Monica's streets Thursday and Friday looking for violations that involve motorcycles, which proliferate on the nation's roads during summer.

Supreme Court Sets Date for Oral Arguments in Voting Rights Case
May 22, 2023 -- Two and a half years after agreeing to take up the closely watched Voting Rights lawsuit against the City, the Supreme Court on Monday set a date for oral arguments.

County Health Continues to Collect Detailed Data as COVID Wanes
May 22, 2023 -- As coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and virus-related deaths drop to levels not seen since the pandemic began, LA County Health officials vow to continue the "robust collection" of "timely local data."

Santa Monica Travel Market Continues to Recover
May 19, 2023 -- Santa Monica's tourism industry is on a steady road to recovery, with both the number of visitors and the money they spent rising significantly last year, tourism officials announced at a summit Wednesday.

SMC Planetarium Explores Invisible Secrets
May 19, 2023 -- From dark matter and nebulae to deep sky exotica, the Santa Monica planetarium next month will explore a series unusual phenomena hidden in the universe.

Council to Consider Law to Curb Skyrocketing Catalytic Converter Thefts
May 18, 2023 -- Ninety-nine percent of all catalytic converter theft cases in Santa Monica -- which total 50 per month -- have gone unsolved because there are no laws defining and prosecuting them, City officials said.

Two Juveniles Arrested for Armed Robbery Tied to Multiple Crimes
May 18, 2023 -- Police on Monday arrested two juveniles tied to multiple serious crimes in Santa Monica when one of them accidentally shot himself in the hand shortly after an armed robbery, police said.

Council to Focus on Security
May 17, 2023 -- From maintaining police radio towers on Santa Monica's tallest rooftop to retaining ambassadors at its busiest parks, Tuesday's City Council consent calendar focuses largely on security.

Two SMC Students Headed to Washington DC
May 16, 2023 -- Two Santa Monica College (SMC) students are headed to the nation's capitol this summer to participate the inaugural Community College Global Affairs Fellowship program, college officials announced this week.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- Advertising Averse Santa Monica Embraces Digital Kiosks
May 16, 2023 -- (UPDATED) "The Future is Here," City officials announced this week, and Santa Monicans next month can get a first hand glimpse of what it will look like when kiosks spring up on commercial sidewalks across the city.

SMC Presents a View From Space
May 16, 2023 -- For nearly half a year, Raja Chari saw 16 sunrises and sunsets a day. On June 1, the NASA astronaut will share his experiences during a Distinguished Scientist Lecture at Santa Monica College (SMC).

Westside Food Bank Donors Can Provide 2-for-1 Meals
May 15, 2023 -- Those who donate to the Santa Monica-based Westside Food Bank (WSFB) will see their donations matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000, through the end of June, agency officials announced last week.

Drug Overdoses Drive Dramatic Hike in LA County Homeless Deaths
May 15, 2023 -- The death toll among LA County's homeless jumped from less than 1,300 in 2019 to more than 2,200 in 2021, largely fueled by a dramatic rise in drug overdoses, according to a Public Health report released Friday.

Unanimous Council Vote Masks Deep Disagreements About Homelessness
May 12, 2023 -- In the end, it was unanimous. All the Councilmembers present agreed that the City should continue, and in some cases expand, the ambitious and costly programs and initiatives it began embarking on decades ago to tackle an entrenched homeless problem.

Council Paves Way to Replace Mall Movie Theater with Museum
May 11, 2023 -- The saga of Santa Monica's first new movie theater in 20 years ended quietly Tuesday night with an ordinance swiftly approved by the City Council without comment.

Rent Board Announces 2.8 Percent Rent Increase
May 11, 2023 -- The Santa Monica Rent Control Board on Tuesday announced a mandated 2.8 percent annual rent increase starting on September 1.

Council Approves Agreement That Removes 'Builder's Remedy' Projects
May 10, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved a settlement agreement that will avert a lengthy legal battle over an untested development policy and scale back nearly a dozen projects that could have been built largely outside the City's control.

Suspect Charged in Overdoses of Santa Monica Girls
May 9, 2023 -- A Los Angeles man has been charged with selling counterfeit pills containing fentanyl that led to the life-threatening overdoses of three 15-year-old girls in Santa Monica last May.

SMC Student Film to Screen at Cannes
May 9, 2023 -- "Azizam" -- a short film written and directed by Santa Monica College (SMC) student Alci Rengifo -- will be screened at The American Pavilion at the world-renown Cannes Film Festival this month.

Slow-Growth Group Opposes 'Builder's Remedy' Settlement Agreement
May 8, 2023 -- Santa Monica's most powerful slow-growth group on Monday urged the City Council to put the brakes on a proposed settlement agreement that would avert 13 "builder's remedy" projects totaling nearly 4,200 units.

Remains Found in Santa Monica ID'd As Founder of Sobriety App
May 8, 2023 -- The remains of a man who had been missing for nearly a year and a half were identified Saturday after being found in the courtyard of an abandoned building in Santa Monica last month, police said.

EXTRA -- WS Could Pull 13 'Builder's Remedy' Projects Under Proposed Settlement Agreement
May 5, 2023 -- A major developer could pull 13 "builder's remedy" projects and resubmit them under Santa Monica's ministerial planning process as part of a settlement agreement the City Council will consider Tuesday.

Council Set to Fill Newly Created Tax Advisory Committee
May 4, 2023 -- Five applicants are vying to sit on a newly formed committee that will advise the City Council on how to use more than $4 million a year to fund "on-going urgent community priorities."

EXTRA -- Santa Monica's Homeless Numbers Rise After COVID-Driven Drop
May 4, 2023 -- A total of 926 individuals were counted during this year's homeless census in Santa Monica, an increase over last year but fewer than were counted in 2019, according to results released by the City Thursday.

Grant Funding on Tuesday's Agenda
May 3, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to give the go-ahead to seek a $5 million housing grant from the State and to hand out more than $10 million in human services grants.

Police to Hold Traffic Safety Operations Friday
May 3, 2023 -- Santa Monica police on Friday will conduct traffic safety operations to crack down on drivers who put the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists at risk and to curb behavior that leads to motorcycle crashes.

Pickleball Courts Would Cost More than $5 Million
May 2, 2023 -- Santa Monica finds itself in a pickle: Advocates of the booming pickleball craze are pushing for new courts, but the cash-strapped City has no funds available to build them.

Monthly Poll Finds Most Residents Oppose Gender-Neutral Restrooms
May 2, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with public safety found a vast majority of respondents oppose the Council's vote to require gender-neutral public restrooms in new buildings.

Cash-Strapped City Faces Record Pension Deficit
May 1, 2023 -- The City of Santa Monica is facing an unfunded pension liability of nearly half a billion dollars as it struggles to recover from the coronavirus shutdown and pay a $122.5 million settlement approved by the City Council last week.

Santa Monica Reads 'The Sum of Us'
May 1, 2023 -- Santa Monica Reads, one of the nation's longest running community-wide reading programs, will discuss a bestselling book that shifted the debate on the ills of racism.

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