Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

September 2023 NewsList

County Agrees to Triple the Beds for Mentally Ill and Addicted Homeless
September 29, 2023 -- Los Angeles County will have to commit up to $1.24 billion to provide 3,000 beds and services for homeless people with mental health and substance use disorders under a settlement approved in federal court Friday.

Security Firm Terminates Downtown Contract
September 29, 2023 -- A tip sent to Downtown officials Thursday from an encrypted email server quickly unraveled a security program to patrol the Promenade that was months in the making.

Council Gives Final Approval to Public Safety Laws
September 28, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to three public safety measures that tighten standards for openly carrying knives, selling and owning guns and securing vacant properties.

Council Tensions Rise Over Point of Privilege
September 28, 2023 -- Simmering tensions between City Councilmembers boiled over Tuesday night as a discussion over amending rules and procedures turned personal.

Local Rents Continue Rising Amid Nationwide Drop
September 27, 2023 -- Bucking a nationwide trend, Santa Monica rents rose 2.1 percent in September, but the rate of growth has flattened after soaring last year, according to the latest monthly report by Apartment List.

Big Blue Bus to Offer Free Rides
September 27, 2023 -- Regular riders and those who never take public transit can hop on a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) for free next Wednesday to support clean air initiatives, agency officials announced Tuesday.

Services for Pioneering BBB Director Saturday
September 26, 2023 -- Services for former Big Blue Bus (BBB) director Stephanie Negriff -- who guided the agency's transition to a clean energy fleet two decades ago -- will be held Saturday. Negriff, 67, died on September 11.

Samohi Orchestra Program Presents Benefit Concert
September 26, 2023 -- The award-winning Santa Monica High School Orchestra Program, which is celebrating 120 years this season, will present a benefit concert next week showcasing movie music, School District officials said Wednesday.

EXTRA -- Randomly Chosen Panel Should Guide Airport's Future, Officials Say
September 25, 2023 -- The future of Santa Monica Airport should be hammered out -- not by the usual community activists and civic volunteers -- but by randomly selected "everyday people," City officials told the City Council Monday.

Bill To Ban 'Pretextual' Stops Pulled
September 25, 2023 -- A push by police reform advocates to halt "pretextual stops" by Santa Monica police was set back this month after the California legislature killed a bill to eliminate the practice statewide.

County Health Pushes Boosters But Faces Hurdles
September 22, 2023 -- LA County began aggressively pushing the new COVID-19 boosters this week amid insurance snags, supply delays and resistance from a more skeptical public, according to recent reports.

Crime, Nature and Poetry at SMC Fall Literary Series
September 22, 2023 -- Crime fiction, awakening the senses and the connection between fantasy and reality are among the topics that will be discussed at Santa Monica College's (SMC) Literary Talks & Readings series this fall.

Downtown Activist Attacked in Palisades Park
September 21, 2023 -- John Alle -- a Downtown business activist known for his crusading efforts to fight crime and anti-social behavior -- was hospitalized after being attacked by a homeless man in Palisades Park Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

DUI Driver Arrested After Police Chase Ends at Pier
September 21, 2023 -- A man recklessly driving a stolen vehicle led police on a late-night chase Wednesday that ended with his arrest at the Santa Monica Pier, according to police.

City Could Adopt AI-Equipped Camera Pilot Programs
September 20, 2023 -- Two City pilot programs that use AI-equipped cameras to deter crime and scan for parking violations should be permanently implemented, transportation officials told the City Council Wednesday.

Convicted Santa Monica Killer Charged with Cellmate's Murder
September 20, 2023 -- Ramon Escobar -- the convicted serial killer who committed two of his 2018 murders in Santa Monica -- has been charged with murdering his prison cellmate earlier this year, prosecutors announced Monday.

Jupiter, Rocketry and DIY Space Images at the SMC Planetarium
September 19, 2023 -- Upcoming shows at the Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium will run the gamut -- from Galileo’s first fuzzy views of Jupiter's moons to extremely high resolution images of the universe.

Santa Monica Boosts Efforts to Tackle Homeless Problem in Parks
September 19, 2023 -- The City is increasing police patrols and stepping up efforts to clean up encampments in public parks frequented by the homeless, according to a report to the City Council last week.

Barnes & Noble Returns to The Promenade
September 18, 2023 -- Five years after shutting down, Barnes & Noble will return to the Promenade, marking "a pivotal moment" in the revitalization of the struggling pedestrian strip, Downtown officials announced Monday.

SMPD Gets Over $6 Million to Combat Retail Theft
September 18, 2023 -- The Santa Monica Police Department will receive more than $6 million in State funding to combat organized retail theft in the city, police officials announced last week.

Low-Income Residents Could Get Free E-Bikes
September 15, 2023 -- Santa Monica residents enrolled in low-income assistance programs could soon be eligible for up to $2,000 from the City to pay for a new e-bike, City officials announced Thursday.

LETTERS -- Residents Just Want You to Do Your Job
September 15, 2023 -- Apparently Couuncilmember Lana Negrete has still not resolved why labor item co-author Phil Brock threw her under the bus when he revealed a secret last-minute deal, writes Former Mayor Kevin McKeown.

OPINION -- Abandoning the Rules for Politics
September 15, 2023 -- Tuesday’s City Council meeting was unfortunately a showing of how politics took precedence over facilitating a fair and unbiased meeting, writes Councilmember Lana Negrete.

Much Noise, No Action on Union Protests
September 14, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday engaged in lengthy debates about parliamentary procedure before listening to dozens of speakers address an issue that had been pulled from the agenda.

Traffic Officer Hospitalized After Being Struck by DUI Driver
September 14, 2023 -- A motorist was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs after striking an SMPD traffic enforcement scooter Wednesday afternoon, seriously injuring the officer, according to police.

City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren to Retire
September 13, 2023 -- When Denise Anderson-Warren joined the City Clerk's office homelessness was the hot-button issue and political factions were fighting for control of the City Council.

Zero-Bail Protocol to Take Effect
September 13, 2023 -- Starting next month, most suspects arrested in Santa Monica for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors will be released on the spot or immediately after booking without bail, police officials said Wednesday.

OPINION -- Council Abandons Residents
September 13, 2023 -- I cannot recall another time ever when a Council majority deliberately chose to abandon the work of the City, writes former Mayor Kevin McKeown.

Police Investigate Tip From 'Creep Catching Unit'
September 12, 2023 -- Police detectives are investigating allegations of attempted lewd acts with a minor after meeting with a private vigilante group that targets online predators, police said Tuesday.

Coastal Clean Up Day This Month at Former 'Inkwell' Beach
September 12, 2023 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is inviting volunteers to take part in Coastal Cleanup Day this month at a once-segregated stretch of beach frequented by a legendary Black surfer.

Lobbying Efforts Pick Up Steam in Voting Rights Case
September 11, 2023 -- Proponents of both fighting and settling the voting rights lawsuit against the City are stepping up their lobbying efforts as the City Council prepares to discuss the issue in closed session Tuesday.

OPINION -- Let the Appeals Court Decide Voting Rights Case

OPINION -- It's Time to End City's Voting Rights Fight

City Council to Tackle Noise
September 11, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday will explore ways to quell early morning hotel union demonstrations, quiet roaring cars and tone down raucous musicians on the Promenade.

Water Around Pier Under Continued Health Advisory
September 8, 2023 -- The water near the Santa Monica Pier remained under a Public Health advisory Friday as bacteria levels exceeded State standards that make it unsafe to swim.

Santa Monica to Hold 9/11 Day of Remembrance
September 8, 2019 -- Early Monday morning, the Fire Department will honor the memories of the 2,977 people, including two Santa Monicans, who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The Last Taxis in Town
September 7, 2023 -- Fourteen years ago, Santa Monica was a wild west for taxi cabs, as the City scrambled to curb the 511 permitted cabs operated by 55 companies.

SMC Gallery to Exhibit Works by Arts 'Pioneer'
September 7, 2023 -- Selected works by d’Arcy Hayman, "one of the great unsung heroes of 20th century art," will be on view at the Santa Monica College (SMC) Emeritus Art Gallery, exhibition organizers said.

Monthly Poll Finds Overwhelming Opposition to Early Morning Union Protests
September 6, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents shows overwhelming opposition to early morning protests by the hotel workers union and lukewarm support for settling and seven-year-long voting rights lawsuit.

SMC Honors Constitution Day With Talks By Legal Scholars
September 6, 2023 -- (UPDATED) Santa Monica College (SMC) will commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 with two talks on the nation's guiding document this month.

Police Search for Suspects Who Targeted Montana Avenue Businesses
September 5, 2023 -- Police are searching for three masked suspects and beefing up security along Montana Avenue after three stores were vandalized, with two of them broken into, early Monday morning.

Man Arrested for Attempted Rape
September 5, 2023 -- A man was arrested for attempted rape Saturday after the victim fought off the naked assailant who broke into her apartment in Santa Monica's Mid-City Neighborhood, according to police.

Power Outage Shuts Down Samohi
September 5, 2023 -- Samohi closed down on Tuesday after a major blown fuse triggered a power outage, District officials announced Monday night.

Police Increase Patrols Labor Day Weekend, Most City Facilities Closed Monday
September 1, 2023 -- There will be more police officers visibly patrolling Downtown streets, the beach and public parking structures as visitors descend on Santa Monica over the Labor Day weekend.
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