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Last Update: Monday, September 15, 2014
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SPECIAL REPORT - Santa Monica Promenade Celebrates 25 Years : The Success Spreads
Second of two parts
September 16, 2014
-- Launched on September 16, 1989 as an experiment in urban planning, the success of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade soon spread to neighboring streets.

Santa Monica Promenade Celebrates 25 Years: The Ingredients for Success
First of two parts
September 15, 2014 -- On September 16, 1989, Santa Monica civic leaders stood before a cheering crowd Downtown and cut the ribbon on a three-block stretch they had christened the Third Street Promenade.

School District Proposes Ed Board Support Real Estate Tax Hike
September 16, 2014 -- The campaign in favor of two November ballot measures calling for a real estate tax increase to support affordable housing projects in Santa Monica could receive a boost Thursday if the Board of Education accepts the school district staff’s recommendation to endorse the proposal.

Santa Monica Restaurant Operator Pleads No Contest to 14 Misdemeanor Charges
September 16, 2014 –Eighty-one years after the repeal of Prohibition, a modern day speakeasy has been successfully prosecuted in Santa Monica for violating city alcohol permit laws.

Opinion - Santa Monica Promenade’s Secret to Success
September 16, 2014 -- I know many of us can remember the 1980s, but for those of you who don’t, downtowns were a dying breed, and Santa Monica was no exception. Indoor shopping centers were all the rage, and Frank Gehry had just designed one in Santa Monica. It became the place to go.

Santa Monica Sees Slight Rise in Serious Crime, While Violent Crimes Drop, Statistics Show
September 15, 2014 –The number of serious crimes in Santa Monica rose slightly last year, but those considered violent crimes dropped to the lowest level in half a century, according to the latest statistics released by the Police Department last week.

Santa Monica Promenade Celebrates 25th Anniversary with a Week of Festivities
September 15, 2014 – Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM) will celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most popular outside shopping malls in the world with a week of activities and parties.

‘Backroom Deal’ Alleged in Council’s Selection of Bergamot Arts Center Developer
September 12, 2014 -- Supporters of Measure D, the November ballot proposal that would prohibit the City Council from making major changes to the Santa Monica Airport without voter approval, are calling shenanigans after the council on Tuesday selected a developer for a major project a few days after he donated $10,000 to the Measure D opposition committee.

Santa Monica BMW Dealership Arsonist Still at Large
September 12, 2014 – A suspect arrested for allegedly setting fire to five cars at a popular Santa Monica BMW dealership Wednesday night was released from police custody Thursday morning.

As Los Angeles Considers Minimum Wage Hike, Santa Monica 'Monitors'
September 12, 2014 -- With no debate and after hearing from no public speakers, the City Council voted Tuesday to instruct City staff to “monitor” the movement toward a possible minimum wage increase in the city of Los Angeles and its possible effect on Santa Monica, which could lead to raising the rate here.

Santa Monica Council Approves Payments for Park Improvements and Design
September 12, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council approved about $166,000 in expenses Tuesday, all of which will go towards park improvements and design.

Council Rejects City Staff’s Recommendation for Bergamot Arts Center Developer
September 11, 2014 -- Following approximately four hours of public testimony and an additional hour of discussion on the dais, the City Council selected a team led by the Worthe Real Estate Group for the nearly $100 million redevelopment of the Bergamot Station Arts Center on Santa Monica’s east end.

Pony Rides to be Replaced at Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
September 11, 2014 – For the first time in 20 years, come spring pony rides will not be a staple at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Main Street.

Soulful Finale for Santa Monica Pier Concert Series
September 11, 2014 – Legendary funk-soul singer Charles Bradley will headline the final Twilight Concert of the season Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Teamsters Back Old Guard in Santa Monica Council Race
September 10, 2014 – The City of Santa Monica Teamsters union is backing three City Council candidates who have been stalwarts on the dais during the past two decades, union officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica’s Colorado Esplanade Project to Get Upgrade
September 10, 2014 – Santa Monica City officials have revised the design of a key component to the Colorado Esplanade that will greet riders when the Expo line arrives in the bay side city in early 2016.

Santa Monica College Presents Fall Jazz Series
September 10, 2014 – Whether it’s Latin, New Orleans or Modern Jazz, it’s often the notes they don’t play that will entertain music lovers during Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Fall Jazz Series.

Santa Monica Affordable Units Protected Under State Law, Court Rules
September 9, 2014 – The Santa Monica Rent Control Board won a two-year legal battle last month that could preserve as many as 200 affordable units in the upscale bay side city,  according to board officials.

End Could Be Near for Farmers Market Pony Rides and Petting Zoo
September 9, 2014 -- The debate over pony rides and a petting zoo at the Main Street Farmers Market has been the subject of rival e-petitions and Internet chatter in recent months. The subject will head to the big stage Tuesday when Santa Monica City Council members will discuss a possible beginning of an end for the popular, but controversial, Sunday attractions.

Women in Afghanistan Subject of Santa Monica College Play
September 9, 2014 –  Before the Taliban in Afghanistan gained widespread notoriety in the U.S. in late 2001, a Santa Monica College (SMC) student and a SMC professor came together to write a play that described women’s conditions under their brutal regime.

Santa Monica Could Follow L.A. in Minimum Wage Raise Effort
September 8, 2014 -- Nearly 12 years after Santa Monica voters narrowly rejected a proposal to make this city the first in the nation to have a minimum wage covering businesses with no direct financial ties to the government, a new effort to raise the salaries of the lowest-paid workers could begin.

Hotel Workers Union Backs McKeown, Gruber for Santa Monica Council
September 8, 2014 – The hotel workers union on Friday became the third major political group to endorse only two Santa Monica City Council candidates in the race for three open seats.

Santa Monica’s Miles Playhouse to Host Fall Open House
September 8, 2014 – Santa Monica’s historic Miles Memorial Playhouse will ring in the autumn season Saturday, September 20 with family friendly performances, shadow puppet workshops, Shakespeare and classical music.

Santa Monica Doughnut Shops Aren’t Afraid of Dunkin’
September 5, 2014 – Santa Monica donut shop owners aren’t worried the much-touted arrival of Dunkin’ Donuts will put a hole in their business.

Former Major Leaguer Says Coach’s Firing Could Hurt School District’s Bottom Line
September 5, 2014 -- The chorus of dissent following the dismissal of a successful and popular Santa Monica High School baseball coach continued at last week’s Board of Education meeting.

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park Offers September Cultural Programming
September 5, 2014 – Swing, hop and bounce atop Tongva Park’s Gathering Hill during a free dance lesson led by National Jitterbug champion Stephen Sayer as part of this month’s cultural programming.

Santa Monica Democrats Back McKeown and Himmelrich for Council Race
September 4, 2014 -- After three rounds of ballots, the Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsed Incumbent Kevin McKeown and Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich for Santa Monica City Council Wednesday night, nine weeks before the November general election.

Council Tasked with Selecting Development Team for Bergamot Arts Center
September 4, 2014 -- A little more than two weeks after a divided Santa Monica Arts Commission came up with a recommendation for the future of the Bergamot Arts Center, the City Council on Tuesday is expected to make a decision on how to move forward.

Internet Royalty to Rock the Santa Monica Pier
September 4, 2014 -- The indie-rock kings of viral videos, Ok Go, -- which saw one Youtube video viewed more than 40 million times -- will headline the ninth Twilight Concert Thursday evening at the Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Planning Panel Wants Voluntary Rent Control at New Apartment
September 3, 2014 -- A developer proposing a 32-unit apartment building on Pico Boulevard off 11th Street has promised four of the units would be “affordable” as part of a development agreement, but the Planning Commission wants more perks.

Santa Monica Sues Landlord for Alleged Intimidation Tactics
September 3, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Attorney’s office is suing a landlord who is accused of using intimidation tactics to force three longtime tenants out of their rent-controlled apartments, according to a lawsuit filed last week.

Downtown Santa Monica Dinosaur Fountains Dry, but Not Extinct
September 3, 2014 – In the midst of one of California’s hardest hitting droughts in more than 100 years, the message of water conservation is being spouted not only by City officials, but also by prehistoric beasts.

Santa Monica Election Season Kicks Off
September 2, 2014 – For millions of Americans, Labor Day marked the end of summer, a day off to enjoy the final stretch of warm weather before welcoming the cool fall breezes. 

Dunkin Donuts Starts California Campaign with Santa Monica Shop
September 2, 2014 -- East Coast transplants frequently complain about the absence of Dunkin' Donuts in California. That frustration will come to an end Tuesday morning when the Canton, Massachusetts-based chain opens the state's first franchise in more than a decade at 1132 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica School District Welcomes 13 New Administrators
September 2, 2014 – The Santa Monica-Malibu School District will start the new school year with 13 new faces at its campuses and headquarters, officials said.

Airport Measure Litigation Halted Until After Election
August 30, 2014 -- A California Court of Appeal panel this week rejected an anti-Santa Monica Airport faction’s request to take the aviation interests-backed Measure D off the November ballot. This marks the third legal defeat for the faction in a little more than a week.

Editorial - The Magic of Adaptive Reuse
August 30, 2014 -- Just like your body, the urban fabric is continually renewing itself: buildings are continually torn down and new ones erected in their place in response to economic, demographic and political factors. But some parts of your body, such as adult teeth, need to last a lifetime. Likewise certain buildings should last the lifetime of a City.

Santa Monica to Update Preferential Parking Program
August 29, 2014 – After a lengthy discussion Tuesday night, the City Council will update Santa Monica’s preferential parking policy to make it easier to understand and enforce.

Selling of Alcohol Approved for Santa Monica Starbucks
August 29, 2014 -- Santa Monica will soon be home to the third Starbucks location in Los Angeles County to serve wine and beer as part of the coffee shop chain’s Starbucks Evenings concept. The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1 on Wednesday in favor of the proposal with restrictions.

Santa Monica City Council Approves $1 Million in Expenditures
August 29, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved approximately $1.2 million in expenditures Tuesday to maintain city buses, perform software maintenance on City computers and pay for engineering support for a stormwater project.

Letter - Village Trailer Park: A Greek Tragedy In 3 Acts Over 7 Years
August 29, 2014 -- The fire has gone out of the religion of Santa Monica Renters Rights. The Rent Control Board –– the official keeper of Tenant’s rights –– has vacated its lofty position. It has abdicated in exchange for money.

Santa Monica City Employees Demand End to Job Outsourcing
August 28, 2014 -- What was scheduled to be a routine vote by the City Council on Tuesday regarding contracts with private companies for various municipal services became an intense discussion on the escalation of job outsourcing at City Hall and its possible negative effect on employee morale as well as Santa Monica’s status as a progressive city.

Santa Monica to Hire Outside Firm for Internal Auditing
August 27, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to hire an accounting firm to perform an internal audit of the City’s finances, a task that traditionally has been conducted in house.

Reggae Pioneer to Headline Santa Monica Pier Concert
August 28, 2014 -- Legendary Reggae and Dub artist and producer Lee "Scratch" Perry will bring cool island sounds to a warm summer evening at the Twilight Concert Thursday evening at the Santa Monica Pier.

Bloom’s Resolution Supporting Gay Male Blood Donors Passes Assembly
August 27, 2014 -- For more than 30 years, men who have had sex with men have been banned from donating blood due to a fear of HIV and AIDS infection. Democrat Richard Bloom, Santa Monica’s former mayor and current representative in the State Assembly, wants to eliminate that restriction.

Santa Monica Medical Marijuana Supporters Establish Campaign Committee
August 27, 2014 -- Medical marijuana proponents who filed for a ballot measure initiative to establish two Santa Monica dispensaries in May have begun receiving donations and circulating their petitions, according to documents filed with the City Clerk's office.

Santa Monica Homeless Volunteer Fatally Struck by City Contractor’s Truck
August 27, 2014 -- A volunteer who provided outreach services for Santa Monica’s homeless was fatally struck by a City contractor’s truck Friday and pronounced dead on the scene.

Santa Monica College Executive Vice President Dies
August 26, 2014 – Santa Monica College Executive Vice President and Chief Instructional Officer (CIO) Randal “Randy” Lawson – who was known for his sense of humor, love of music and a dedication to education that won him statewide recognition -- died unexpectedly last Tuesday. He was 66.

Anti-Airport Group Loses Second Lawsuit; Appeal to Follow
August 26, 2014 -- This past Friday marked the second day in less than a week that an anti-Santa Monica Airport faction lost a lawsuit aiming to keep the aviation interests-backed Measure D off the November ballot.

Armed Robber Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison
August 26, 2014 – A Los Angeles man was sentenced Monday to 60 years in prison for two armed robberies in Santa Monica that took place two years ago, according to Santa Monica Police.

Review - “Reasons To Be Pretty” Isn’t Pretty
August 26, 2014 -- A rainbow of well-dressed ladies and gentlemen streamed into the theater. Bright aqua jackets, flowing fuschia skirts, amber brooches, tangerine lipstick, neatly-trimmed moustaches were a show unto themselves.

Veteran Political Activist Seeks College Board Seat
August 25, 2014 – For more than 20 years, Maria Loya has been fighting for a number of progressive political organizations whose focuses range from environmental justice to immigrant rights.

Santa Monica Starbucks Could Offer Wine and Beer
August 25, 2014 -- Double-fisting a caffè latte and beer could soon become the latest fad in Santa Monica. Starbucks has applied for a conditional-use permit to serve alcohol at a new location expected to open at the southwest corner of Main Street and Olympic Drive in the Civic Center.

7th Street Closed for Expo Rail Installation
August 25, 2014 -- The City of Santa Monica will be closing the intersection of 7th Street and Colorado Avenue for a week and a half starting Tuesday, September 2 at 7 a.m. to install rails for the new Expo line project, City officials said.

Downtown Santa Monica Touts Success at Annual Meeting
August 22, 2014 -- Downtown Santa Monica is thriving, and with visitors spending at record levels, office occupancy at an all-time high, housing booming, bike lanes being added and a train fast approaching, the City’s central business district is entering a new phase 25 years after the Promenade was launched.

Santa Monica Airport Foe Fights Legal Setback
August 22, 2014 -- A Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a decision Tuesday that will keep a measure backed by aviation interests on the November ballot. But the attorney for a faction of the anti-Santa Monica Airport movement that filed a lawsuit to remove the measure is not waving the white flag.

Santa Monica Quilt Guild Hosts Exhibit
August 22, 2014 -- Some may be surprised to learn that Santa Monica has a quilting club whose members meet monthly to share their own stories with every stitch and design. 

Santa Monicans Get Chance to Weigh in on Arts Center’s Future Saturday
August 21, 2014 – Proponents of redeveloping Santa Monica’s art center believe it will revitalize an aging complex in time for the arrival of the Expo Light Rail. Opponents counter that it will rob the area of its character and draw too many cars.

Changes Could Come to Preferential Parking Rules
August 21, 2014 -- While many residents say the City’s preferential parking policy is essential to secure a space for their vehicles, several complaints have been made about the program that has seen few adjustments since it was created in 1980.

Zombie Attack at the Santa Monica Pier
August 21, 2014 – Classic rock fans will get a special treat when The Zombies take the stage at the summer’s seventh Twilight concert on Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Editorial - The Bergamot Arts Complex…. It’s not too late to get it right
August 21, 2014 -- The train is coming!  In less than two years, the Expo Line will arrive in Santa Monica.  While the Expo Station will be ready on time, the adjacent Bergamot Arts Complex likely will not. This delay, however, should not give the City reason to rush into a project that lacks vision and contains many unresolved issues. 

ASLA Ice Water Challenge Spreads to Santa Monica City Council
August 20, 2014 – Santa Monica City Council candidates are being given a choice -- dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate $100 to fight a crippling disease.

Velellas Invade Santa Monica Beach
August 20, 2014 – Strange saucer-like creatures with bright blue bodies and transparent sails have started washing up on the shores of Santa Monica Beach, part of a colony of tiny hydroids working together to create a single organism.

Airport Rivals Debate Meaning of Voter Approval
August 20, 2014 -- There is no dispute the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association-backed ballot proposal, now known as Measure D, calls for a requirement of voter approval to make most changes at Santa Monica Airport, including closure. What is disputed is the meaning of “voter approval.”

Santa Monica City Council Ballot Set
August 19, 2014 – Fourteen of the original 18 individuals who pulled papers to run for Santa Monica City Council have officially qualified for November’s ballot, according to the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office.

Santa Monica Airport Foes File Second Lawsuit
August 19, 2014 – Eight anti-airport activists filed a second lawsuit Friday in an effort to ground a ballot measure that would require voters to approve any change of use at Santa Monica’s century-old airport.

Settlement Reached on Ballot Argument Signature Dispute
August 19, 2014 -- City Clerk Sarah Gorman has agreed to remove two signatures from an argument that will appear on Santa Monica's November ballot in exchange for anti-tax activist Mathew Millen withdrawing his lawsuit against the City.

Candidates Set for School Board Races
August 18, 2014 -- For the first time in six years, the November election will feature competitive contests for both school boards in Santa Monica. There are seven candidates competing for four seats in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). Six people are in the contest for four Santa Monica College (SMC) seats.

Council Approves $6 Million Budget for Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
August 18, 2014 – One month before the Santa Monica Promenade celebrates its 25th anniversary, the City Council approved a $6 million budget for the agency that runs the thriving strip.

Santa Monica Property Owners to Pay Less for Library Bond
August 18, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council last week unanimously approved lowering the property tax rates used to pay for a 2002 library renovation bond.

Anti-Tax Activist Wants Argument Removed from Ballot
August 15, 2014 -- Long-time Santa Monica tax opponent Mathew Millen filed a lawsuit earlier this week in an attempt to get an argument in favor of the real estate tax hike measure removed from the November ballot. He says the argument was submitted illegally.

Santa Monica City Employee to Become A French Knight
August 15, 2014 – The City of Santa Monica will soon be employing a French Knight as its Cultural Affairs Manager.

Santa Monica Council Approves $2.3 Million in Expenditures
August 15, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved more than $2.3 million in expenses Tuesday, including funding for treat water, update buses and remove graffiti.

Review - Humor Highlights Poetry Reading at Santa Monica’s Annenberg Beach House
August 15, 2014 – With his suspenders and red St. Louis cap, William Trowbridge looks more like the owner of a Midwestern hardware store than a poet.

Santa Monica Clamps Down on Water Use
August 14, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to approve tougher restrictions on water use during Tuesday’s council meeting, initiating Stage 2 of the City’s Water Shortage Response Plan.

Status of Santa Monica Airport ‘Will Take Years to Sort out,’ City Attorney Says
August 14, 2014 -- Closure of Santa Monica Airport will happen only after a long legal battle, and nothing can be done to reduce the length, City Attorney Marsha Moutrie told the City Council on Tuesday.

La Santa Cecilia Set to Rock the Santa Monica Pier
August 14, 2014 –Latin Rock – or as it is more popularly known, Rock en Español –will take over the Santa Monica Pier Thursday when Grammy-award-winning La Santa Cecilia hits the stage for the summer’s sixth Twilight concert.

Letter - Registration Fee Unfair to Elderly Landlords
August 14, 2014 – Elderly landlords who own rent-control apartments will feel the burden of the increased registration fees being proposed.

Santa Monica Site Helps Those Battling Severe Depression
August 13, 2014 – Those looking for answers after comedian Robin Williams took his life Monday during a bout with severe depression might find some understanding on a website launched 15 years ago in Santa Monica.

Rivals Argue Whether Financial Urgency Exists Justifying Santa Monica Rent Control Measure
August 13, 2014 -- Proponents of a Santa Monica ballot measure calling for hiking the landlord registration fee say its approval will bring much-needed money to the Rent Control Board. Opponents argue the proposal is for a “huge tax increase to compensate overpaid government bureaucrats.”

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park Offers the Sounds of Persia
August 13, 2014 – The latest addition to the Santa Monica Parks system will be offering a free concert this month featuring Persian and world music as part of its first season of cultural programming.

Santa Monica Group’s Endorsements Spark Community Debate
August 12, 2014 – The decision made by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) to support only two candidates for City Council has raised speculation both about possibly supporting a third candidate and whether the group had an ulterior political motive.

O’Connor Faces Tough Re-Election Bid Without SMRR Support
August 12, 2014 -- If Mayor Pam O’Connor does a victory dance on Election Day in November, she will have completed a feat matched by only one other person since Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) reclaimed the City Council majority in 1988.

Santa Monica Activists Plan Vigil for Mural
August 12, 2014 – Santa Monica activists are encouraging the public to attend a public vigil next month to save the Muir Woods Mural that has graced an exterior wall of Olympic High School for nearly four decades.

SMRR Backs McKeown, Kennedy for Santa Monica City Council
August 11, 2014 -- Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights’ old guard sent a strong message to the city’s newer political groups Saturday  when its steering  committee endorsed long-time stalwarts City Councilman Kevin McKeown and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy for City Council. Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Residocracy endorsed Richard McKinnon. Residocracy has not made any endorsements.

Bob Holbrook Leaves Behind 24-Year Legacy for Santa Monica
August 11, 2014 -- Having served on the Santa Monica City Council for 24 years with 17 different colleagues, Bob Holbrook has the distinction of being the longest-serving elected official in Santa Monica history.

Flight Schools Could Face Greater Restrictions at Santa Monica Airport
August 11, 2014 -- Use of quieter aircraft and accepting limitations on when flying can take place could be requirements for flight schools and clubs to operate at Santa Monica Airport. The City Council will consider these rules Tuesday when it votes on new lease guidelines for businesses operating on the City-owned property.

Review - Cooking Classes Inspire Confidence to Try Something New
August 11, 2014 -- Item number three on my bucket list was to bake a pie. With item one to get married and item two to have a baby, the pie was an easier challenge, thanks to a great baking class.

Santa Monicans Targeted in Scam Operations
August 11, 2014 -- Three Santa Monica residents have fallen victim to an over-the-phone scam operation, leading police to issue a warning.

Bob Holbrook Will Not Seek Seventh City Council Term
August 8, 2014 -- After a record 24 years on the Santa Monica City Council, Bob Holbrook has decided this term is his final one and he will not run in the November election, the council member told the Lookout News Thursday.

Rivals Trade Accusations of Deception in Airport Ballot Battle
August 8, 2014 -- Power to the people and don’t be misled by the tricks of the other side is the battlecry for both ends of the Santa Monica Airport debate appearing in arguments for and against the two ballot measures that will go before voters in November.

Pixar President Shares Management Philosophy in Santa Monica
August 8, 2014 -- Good people are more important than good ideas, Ed Catmull, co-founder and president of Pixar and president of Disney Animation Studios told a crowd of some 250 gathered in Downtown Santa Monica Tuesday.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint
August 8, 2014 -- Santa Monica Police will conduct a checkpoint Aug. 16 to identify and remove motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or without a valid driver’s license.



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