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Monday, January 15, 2018

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City of Santa Monica's Unfunded Pension Costs Jump 20 Percent
January 16, 2018 – Unfunded pension liabilities for the City of Santa Monica jumped 20 percent in the last fiscal year, rising from $387 million to $461 million “primarily due to the actual returns on the investment portfolio being less than CalPERS’ projected returns,” according to Gigi Decavalles-Hughes, the City’s finance director.

Conflict of Interest Probe Findings Go to Santa Monica-Malibu School Board
January 16, 2018 -- The findings of an internal investigation into possible conflict-of-interest violations by three Santa Monica-Malibu School Board members will go to the board at its meeting on Thursday.

Bruce Trentham's painting Surf and Rocks Coastal Landscapes Featured at Santa Monica College Emeritus Gallery
January 16, 2018 -- A local artist whose water color landscapes celebrate the Southern California Coast will be on exhibit the Santa Monica College Emeritus Art Gallery starting this month.

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Environmental Leader Blasts Santa Monica Council for Use of Water Funds
January 11, 2018 -- The head of Santa Monica's environmental task force on Tuesday strongly criticized the City Council for allowing $56.4 million to be drained from the City’s water fund to help finance mega-projects not related to water use.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Rental Bill Fails to Pass Committee
January 12, 2018 -- In a major victory for landlords, a state bill introduced by Santa Monica lawmaker Richard Bloom that would allow California cities to expand rent control failed to pass out of committee Thursday.

Santa Monica Police Remind Riders of Motorized Scooters to Follow the Law
January 12, 2018 -- Santa Monica police are warning riders of the increasingly popular motorized scooters that they must abide by the law, which requires them to have a drivers license and wear a bicycle helmet.

New Frank Gehry design for Ocean Avenue New Frank Gehry Design for Santa Monica Makes Public Debut Tonight
January 11, 2018 -- With its 22 stories loped nearly in half, Frank Gehry’s newest version for a mixed-used tower on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica -- which gets an official unveiling today -- is no longer the 22-story, plume-like structure that triggered both high praise and dismay when first proposed five years ago

Santa Monica to Hold Housing Symposium Next Week
January 11, 2018 -- Retired U.S. Senator Fred Harris, the last living member of the Kerner Commission convened by President Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots, will share his thoughts on Civil Rights in Housing during a symposium in Santa Monica next week.

Picture of homicide victim John Hautz Santa Monica Police Search for Suspect in Elderly Man's Murder
January 10, 2018 -- Police are looking for a suspect in the apparent homicide of John Hautz, an 88-year-old man whose body was found in his Santa Monica apartment on New Year's day.

Santa Monica City Council to Impose Emergency Ban on 'Monster' Mansions
January 10, 2018 -- Shuddering under a frenzy of “monster” mansions replacing the tiny homes of earlier eras, the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday ordered preparation of a temporary ban on such construction in single-family neighborhoods.

Pico Neighborhood Plan a Priority for Santa Monica Council
January 10, 2018 -- A bold proposal first floated almost two decades ago to link the city’s downtown and Civic Center with a park atop a massive deck over the I-10 Freeway is not an immediate priority, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Santa Monica Announce Settlement with eHarmony Website
January 10, 2018 -- (Updated) The dating website giant eHarmony has agreed to pay $1.2 million in penalties and up to $1 million in restitution in a settlement with Santa Monica City prosecutors and others over its automatic renewal practices, the City Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

FPPC Finds 12 Probable Election-Related Violations by Santa Monica Council Member Pam O'Connor
January 9, 2018 -- An investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has found a dozen probable election-related violations of state law by Santa Monica Council Member Pam O’Connor and her re-election committee.

Santa Monica Planning Commission to Review Four Mixed-Use Projects
January 9, 2018 -- A five-story mixed-use apartment building on Lincoln Boulevard is set for official approval on Wednesday by the Santa Monica Planning Commission, which then turns its perusal to three more similar projects not far away.

Firefighters Rescue Dogs from Santa Monica Apartment Blaze
January 9, 2018 -- Firefighters rescued two small dogs from a blaze that broke out in the kitchen of a two-story apartment building in Santa Monica early Monday morning.

Plan to Cap Santa Monica Freeway with a Park Moves to the Fore
January 8, 2018 -- A decade ago, City planners worried that former Mayor Michael Feinstein's proposal to cap the Santa Monica Freeway was a “crazy idea.” But the concept to link the city’s downtown and Civic Center with a park perched atop a massive deck is poised to move forward as officials prioritize their no-longer stalled development pipeline.

Santa Monica Prepares Five Percent Hike in Water Rate
January 8, 2018 -- The water rate for the City of Santa Monica is poised to rise by 5 percent this year, the same as in the previous two years, but short of the maximum nine percent hike authorized in 2015 as part of a five-year plan.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Santa Monica Celebrates the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 8, 2018 -- Santa Monica will host two events to celebrate the life of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this month -- the screening of a documentary on Thursday and the 33rd annual celebration of his birth next Monday.

Residents Fight to Win Historic Status for Santa Monica Bungalow District
January 5, 2018 -- Once upon a time, Santa Monica was home to neighborhoods of modest but well-built, well-designed and well-loved bungalows built for people of middle-class means. “Friends of 11th Street” is offering its cluster of those homes as proof of that life and asking the City to grant their neighborhood historic status in a bid to preserve it.

Santa Monica Restaurant Week Covers the Map
Pomegranate January 5, 2018 -- Meatless burgers that bleed. Fried sweet potatoes that melt in your mouth. Kale salads, prawn pizza, and even masala ice cream. Santa Monica Restaurant Week, sponsored by Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT), offers an invitation to explore these dishes from January 8 to 14. This year’s theme is the pomegranate.

Santa Monica Mountain Pumas No Longer Receive Automatic Death Sentences
January 5, 2018 -- Cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains and elsewhere in Southern California’s wilderness no longer face automatic death sentences if they prey upon domestic animals, state officials announced Tuesday.

District Probe of Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Members Reaching Conclusion
January 4, 2018 -- A district probe of conflict-of-interest allegations, reportedly now widened to three Santa Monica-Malibu school board members, is winding down and due to be unveiled before the entire board when it meets again later this month, a district representative said Wednesday.

New Anti-Labor Online Site Attacks Hotel Union for Pro-Development Push in Santa Monica
January 4, 2018 -- An anti-labor website debuting today accuses the local hotel union of using disruptive tactics to push for big hotel developments fought by Santa Monica neighborhood groups so it can amass dues from its members.

Santa Monica Police to Focus on Pedestrian, Bicycle Safety
Pedestrian traffic sign January 4, 2018 -- With the number of fatal pedestrian incidents reaching an all-time high last year, Santa Monica police will hold the year's first Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations Friday and Monday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.. The operations focus on traffic violations "that can potentially lead to life altering injuries."

City Should Use 'Water Settlement Funds' to Help Fund City Yards Project, Finance Director Recommends
January 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica's finance director is recommending that the City spend $64 million in "water settlement funds" to complete the City Yards Modernization project, according to a memo sent to the City Council last month.

Santa Monica Police Seeking Information in Shooting Last Month
January 3, 2018 -- (UPDATED) The son of a Santa Monica man who unsuccessfully sued police over a videotaped beating in 2002 was among the suspects arrested in an attempted murder that took place near the Pico Neighborhood last month.

New York Public Library Star of Film Screening at Santa Monica Library
New York Public Library Lions January 3, 2018 -- The New York Public Library, the subject of a documentary film that will be screened in Santa Monica Tuesday, is the second-largest library in the nation and the fourth largest in the world.

Santa Monica Poised to Raise Fees for Community and Cultural Programs and Services
January 2, 2018 -- The fees the City of Santa Monica charges for everything from lifeguard training to performances staged at the Miles Memorial Playhouse are expected to increase this summer. Fee adjustments for many of the programs and services were proposed last month by the Department of Community and Cultural Services (CCS).

Public Can Weigh In on Santa Monica Pier Bridge Reconstruction
January 2, 2018 -- The nearly 80-year-old bridge that leads to Santa Monica's iconic pier will soon be torn down and replaced, with a meeting focusing on the environmental impacts of the reconstruction scheduled for next week.

Shakespeare Comes Home in Santa Monica
Shakespeare his wife and the dog January 2, 2018 -- What does the world's greatest playwright do after penning "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "Othello" and "King Lear?" He comes home and, unable to sleep, banters with his wife. That's the premise, and dramatic event, used in "Shakespeare his wife and the dog," which receives its U.S. premiere in Santa Monica this month.

Top News Stories of 2017
December 22, 2017 -- 2017 might well be looked back on as a watershed year for Santa Monica. In the past 12 months, the City forged a plan that will guide Downtown development for the next two decades and sealed a pact to permanently close its century old airport.

Top Cultural Stories of 2017
December 22, 2017 -- In recent years, Santa Monica has lost many of the unique venues that placed the beach city on LA's cultural map -- Vidiots, the Santa Monica Museum, Hennessey + Ingalls. Now, its pier concerts are skrinking, but there are some positive trends.

 

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