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Saturday, December 14, 2019

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Santa Monica Takes Initial Step to Dramatically Boost Housing Production
December 13, 2019 -- Accepting the daunting task of building 9,000 new housing units over the next decade -- more than two-thirds of them affordable -- the City Council this week began exploring removing caps on development.

Shore Hotel Obtains Coastal Permits, Sets Aside Affordable Rooms
December 13, 2019 -- The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica must pay an additional $2.3 million in fees and set aside 72 moderately priced rooms in order to continue operating after opening the luxury hotel without the proper permits.

Why Local 11 is battling residents on the "Plaza" project

Suspect in Random Assault on Elderly Man Has Long Arrest Record
Joseph Jean Gilbert December 12, 2019 -- The suspect in an assault on an 87-year-old Santa Monica resident Saturday is part of a revolving-door court system that puts violators quickly back on the street, according to police and court records. Joseph Jean Gilbert, who was charged with elder abuse, has been arrested 19 other times, mostly for misdemeanors.

FAA Decision Against Santa Monica Doesn't Go Far Enough, Aviation Plaintiffs Contend
December 12, 2019 -- On Monday the plaintiffs in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) compliant against the City filed an appeal seeking further reimbursement of airport funds and excessive landing fees.

"Pleasures Along the Beach" "In the Image" OPINION -- Contrasting Visions of Santa Monica
The removal of the powerfully optimistic "Pleasures Along the Beach" left a hole in the public art space that, not coincidentally, was filled by Los Angeles activist and artist Ed Massey with "In the Image."

Santa Monica Moves to Offer Free Representation to Tenants Facing Eviction
December 11, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday took initial steps to fund representation for low-income tenants threatened with eviction in one of the nation's hottest rental markets.

McKeown Assumes Post as Santa Monica Mayor
December 11, 2019 – Councilmember Kevin McKeown was installed as Santa Monica's mayor Tuesday, marking the second time he holds the mostly ceremonial post.

Police Seek Additional Victims After Two Random Street Assaults on Elderly
Kenneth Jordan Wilburn December 10, 2019 -- An unprovoked attack on an elderly man on Saturday came three weeks after an elderly woman was brutally assaulted in another Santa Monica neighborhood by a different suspect. The attacks have prompted police to seek "the public’s help in identifying any additional victims of similar assaults."

EXTRA -- Santa Monica, Airbnb Settle Home-Sharing Battle
December 10, 2019 -- The City signed a major settlement agreement Tuesday with Airbnb, Inc. that is expected to "dramatically reduce" illegal listings under Santa Monica's pioneering home-sharing ordinance, City officials announced.

OPINION -- Free Big Blue Bus Service Can Ease Traffic Congestion
December 10, 2019 -- If the City of Santa Monica really wants to have an impact on reducing traffic on our congested streets, it should turn the Big Blue Bus into a free service.

Elderly Man Victim of Unprovoked Assault Downtown
December 9, 2019 -- Police arrested a suspect Saturday for the unprovoked assault of an elderly man in Downtown Santa Monica that afternoon.

Santa Monica Ranks Third in County for Pedestrian Crashes, Injuries
December 9, 2019 -- Santa Monica ranked near the top of the list of Los Angeles County cities with the most pedestrian crashes and injuries in 2018, according to a new report by a personal injury law firm.

Matching Grant from Miramar Hotel Kicks Off Ed Foundation's Last Fundraiser of 2019
December 9, 2019 -- Supporters of Santa Monica public schools have until December 31 to match a $25,000 grant to the Santa Monica Education Foundation from the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and its owner, the organization announced Monday.

First Two Revised SRO Developments Get Hearing
December 5, 2019 -- The first two market-rate SRO projects resubmitted under a settlement agreement between the developer and City got their first public hearing Monday.

Council to Consider Extending Exemption to Plastic Ban
December 5, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider extending for another year an exemption that allows the use of cups and lids outlawed under its ban on single-use plastics.

Santa Monica Clings to Christmas Tradition
Nativity scene manger December 4, 2019 -- For 66 years, Santa Monica's nativity scenes have survived -- weathering funding crises, changes in public taste and a near-fatal attack from atheists. On Monday, the 14 quaintly anachronistic scenes will be back, lining the perimeter of Calvary Baptist Church.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Santa Monica Council Members Took 49 Official Trips in Past Two Years
December 3, 2019 -- One of the perks of winning a non-paying City Council seat in Santa Monica is traveling at taxpayers' expense -- with Vancouver, Montreal and Bonn, Germany among the destinations.

Suspect Arrested for Attempted Murder Released Pending Further Investigation
December 3, 2019 -- A suspect arrested Friday for a stabbing that took place on Santa Monica Beach earlier this year was released Tuesday after prosecutors requested further investigation of the case.

Homeless Winter Shelter Opens
December 3, 2019 -- As a winter storm blows in and temperatures begin to drop, Santa Monica's homeless can take shelter in Los Angeles.

FAA Finds Santa Monica Mishandled Airport Loans
December 2, 2019 -- In what aviation advocates called "a morsel of good news," the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month found the City of Santa Monica mishandled loans to its airport.

LETTERS -- City Puts E-Scooter Company Profits Ahead of Public Safety
December 2, 2019 -- The City can keep on “studying” the e-scooter companies, but it needs to put safeguards in action immediately to protect residents.

City Wins Injunction in Tenant Harassment Case
November 27, 2019 -- Two landlords accused of repeatedly parking in a tenant's space, tossing belongings from their storage space and filing a false eviction have agreed to a judgment and court injunction, the City Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

City Can Do Little to Stem Gentrification of Pico Neighborhood, Report Concludes
November 26, 2019 -- There is little the City can do to preserve the Pico Neighborhood outside of enhancing tenant protections, according to a report released by the Santa Monica Planning Department Monday.

EXTRA City Halts Landscape Crews' Move to Airport
November 26, 2019 -- The City will halt work on an $800,000 project to relocate the parks maintenance crews to Santa Monica Airport after neighboring residents vocally opposed the move, he City Manager annouced Monday.

Santa Monica Police Thwart Suicide One Day After Man Hangs Himself from Pier
November 25, 2019 -- Police on Friday stopped a man from jumping onto the freeway in what would have been the ninth public suicide in Santa Monica in less than two years and the second in two days.

LAX Offers Santa Monica Shuttle Service Thanksgiving Week
November 25, 2019 -- LAX passengers can take a $10 shuttle to and from Santa Monica during the busy Thanksgiving holidays. The new ride-share pickup service, which launched Sunday, will run through December 2, except Thanksgiving day.

Residents, Airport Commission Try to Block Relocation of Parks Landscape Crews
November 22, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Airport Commission this week unanimously backed residents' calls to block the City's landscape maintenance crews from moving to the airport.

OPINION -- SMMUSD Budget: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
November 22, 2019 -- Given the School District’s chronic structural deficit and our transition to basic aid, we need to take a fresh look at our expenditures and develop a sustainable budget, writes School Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati.

Councilmember Seeks Public's Help in Saving Sycamore
November 21, 2019 -- A century old sycamore tree remains in jeopardy after its owners declined to sign a deed restriction protecting it while the City Council drafts a citywide tree ordinance.

Big Blue Bus Continues to Lose Riders
November 21, 2019 -- Ridership on Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) continued its downward slide, dropping by more than 650,000 passengers, or 5 percent, agency officials reported Wednesday.

Suicide Under Pier Marks Eighth in Less than 2 Years
November 21, 2019 -- A man committed suicide shortly before dawn Thursday by hanging himself underneath the Santa Monica Pier, according to police. The suicide marks the eighth in Santa Monica in less than two years and the third at the pier.

Homeless sculpture by Ed Massey Homeless Sculpture Installed in Former Home of Iconic Mural
November 20, 2019 -- A seven-foot-tall sculpture of a homeless man was unveiled Monday in the courtyard of the former Santa Monica bank building once graced by the iconic mural "Pleasures Along the Beach." The new sculpture by Ed Massey titled “In The Image” will be on display at the corner of 26th and Wilshire for six weeks.
Santa Monica College Planetarium Explores the Winter Solstice
November 20, 2019 -- For the pagans, Persians, Romans, Christians and other cultures around the world, the Winter Solstice marks a turning point in the year. Next month, the Santa Monica College (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium will explore the annual phenomenon marked by festivals and rituals.

Height, Density Limits Curb Santa Monica's Ability to Meet Affordable Housing Goals
November 19, 2019 -- Santa Monica will have to allow taller, denser buildings on major thoroughfares if it hopes to meet its affordable housing goals, according to a new report.

It's Winterlit Season in Santa Monica
November 19, 2019 -- Downtown Santa Monica is being transformed into a winter wonderland for the holidays where visitors can stroll under the glow of thousands of colorful lights and glide on real ice.

Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Drunk Hit-and-Run Driver
Rogelio Bobadillo November 18, 2019 -- A drunk hit-and-run driver killed an elderly woman crossing the street in Downtown Santa Monica shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday. Rogelio Bobadilla, 28, was booked on four counts, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
DTSM Winterlit 2019


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