archiveSanta Monica Lookoutline
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- January 2013

Santa Monica Officials Prepare to Move on from Interim Parking Plan
January 31, 2013 -- With the success of Santa Monica's Interim Parking Plan, City officials are preparing to draft a long-range plan to deal with increased demand for parking and the impact of the coming Expo Light Rail.

“African-American Treasures” on Display at Santa Monica College
January 31, 2012 -- A unique collection of artworks and artifacts that documents the hardships and triumphs of African Americans over nearly four centuries will open at Santa Monica College February 12.

“Champion” of Airport Neighbors to Represent Santa Monica in State Senate
January 31, 2013 -- California State Senator Ted Lieu
, a staunch advocate of tighter restrictions on Santa Monica Airport (SMO), is now the bayside city's new representative.

Planning Commission to Fine-Tune Santa Monica's Bergamot Area Plan
January 30, 2013 -- The Planning Commission will discuss the future of Santa Monica's Bergamot Area Wednesday when they weigh in on the plan that will regulate development in the area around the future Expo Line station.

Youth of the Year Honored by Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica
January 30, 2013 -- The Boy & Girls Club of Santa Monica (SMBGC) named Gretchen Galanis the 2012 Youth of the Year (YOY) Saturday at a banquet held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

Santa Monica Police Identify Man Killed in Pico Boulevard Accident
January 30, 2013 -- Santa Monica Police have identified the man killed in an accident on Pico Boulevard yesterday as 22-year-old Alexander Smollins from Culver City.

Santa Monica's Lincoln Boulevard May See Housing Boom
January 29, 2013 -- A major Santa Monica intersection is poised to undergo a massive overhaul, turning a primarily commercial area into a mixed-use residential neighborhood that could boast as many as 500 units.

Advocates for Saving Santa Monica's “Chain Reaction” to Get Award
January 29, 2013 -- Dave Conrad and Jerry Rubin will be honored by the Santa Monica Conservancy February 24 for their efforts to save Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Paul Conrad's “Chain Reaction” sculpture.

Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Santa Monica's First Fatal Accident of the Year
January 29, 2013 -- A 22-year-old man was killed Monday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a car at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and 25th Street, marking the first fatal crash of 2013 in Santa Monica.

VA Starts Long-Awaited Renovation of Housing Facility
January 28, 2013 -- The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to celebrate the start of a $20 million renovation project at the VA’s West Los Angeles Medical Center campus.

Santa Monica Begins to Draft Pedestrian Action Plan
January 28, 2013 -- Santa Monica officials want to residents to weigh in on the City's Pedestrian Action Plan, dedicated to making the beachside city safer and more walkable.

Good Taste --The Lobster Rocks
January 28, 2013 -- When I first moved here in the early 80s, I frequented The Lobster often. It was a 1950s throw-back, nothing more than a coffee shop that served seafood. A real greasy spoon with a million dollars view of the ocean. I loved it.

Robust State of the City Boosted by Public Transit, Santa Monica Officials Say
January 25, 2013 -- Transportation took center stage Thursday morning when Santa Monica civic leaders assembled to discuss how public transit will generate jobs, boost the economy and alleviate the traffic crunch.

Santa Monica Planning Commission Weighs in on Downtown's Future
January 25, 2013 -- Santa Monica residents and business leaders came head-to-head at Wednesday night's Planning Commission meeting over proposed heights for buildings that will be prescribed under the city's new Downtown Specific Plan.

Celebrate 11th Annual Santa Monica Reads Program
January 25, 2013 -- The Public Library is gearing up to celebrate the 11th annual Santa Monica Reads, a month-long reading program meant to encourage residents to explore books and films around a particular theme.

City Council Appoints New Santa Monica Planning Commissioner
January 24, 2013 -- In a 6 to 1 vote Tuesday, the Santa Monica City Council appointed litigation attorney Sue Himmelrich, a vocal opponent of the Village Trailer Park development agreement (DA), to a seat on the Planning Commission.

Santa Monica City Council Gives “Chain Reaction” Another Year
January 24, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted 6 to1 Tuesday to keep Paul Conrad's “Chain Reaction” sculpture standing for one more year to give supporters a chance to raise the money necessary to repair the iconic work.

Santa Monica Files Criminal Complaint Against Wilshire West Car Wash
January 24, 2013 -- The City of Santa Monica on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against Wilshire West Car Wash that charges the company has cheated employees out of their wages over the past four years

Santa Monica Dry Cleaners Must Drop Eco-Friendly Claims, Officials Say
January 23, 2013 -- Six Santa Monica dry cleaners have agreed to drop “general claims” about offering environmentally friendly dry cleaning services in their advertising after an investigation revealed they could not support those claims.

Meet Downtown Santa Monica's Newest Faces
January 23, 2013 -- Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM) has two new staff members, and they are helping to put a new face on the agency that helps run the heart of the city.

Santa Monica Police Seek Suspect in Christmas Day Assault
January 23, 2013 -- Police are searching for a suspect in a possible sexual assault that occurred on the beach in Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood in the late afternoon on Christmas Day.

Officer, Protesters Behaved Inappropriately in Santa Monica College Pepper Spray Incident, Panel Says
January 22, 2013 -- Both Santa Monica College police officers and students share the blame for a pepper-spraying incident that made national headlines last year, according to a report released by college officials Friday.

Former Santa Monica Council Members Weigh in on Downtown
January 22, 2013 -- As the Santa Monica Planning Commission prepares to weigh in on the Downtown Specific Plan Wednesday night, former Council members Richard Bloom and Bobby Shriver shared their thoughts on the future of a thriving commercial district they helped shape.

$8 Million Pier Replacement Project Tops Santa Monica City Council Consent Calendar
January 22, 2013 -- The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to enter into an $8.2 million contract to replace a 12,960-square-foot section of the Santa Monica Pier which studies show has begun to deteriorate as a result of exposure to the elements.

Santa Monica Addresses Future of Civic Auditorium and RDA-funded Staff
January 21, 2013 -- City officials are wrestling with the question of what to do with about 50 employees who will lose their jobs at the end of June as a result of the end of Santa Monica's Redevelopment Agency (RDA).

Meet Downtown Santa Monica's Two Newest Board Members
January 21, 2013 -- Downtown Santa Monica Inc.'s two new board members arrived at the decision-making table via very different routes. Julia Ladd comes from the private sector, serving as senior property manager for Santa Monica Place, while Barry Snell was a member of the Santa Monica - Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.

Good Taste -- A Santa Monica Birthday Bash, Bungalow Style
January 21, 2013 -- After a couple of martinis a week before Christmas, I promised my BFF (that's “Best Friend Forever” for the uninitiated) Nancy that I would plan her 50th Birthday party, coming up on January 12. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Opinion -- Santa Monica's Former Mayor Talks About Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream
January 21, 2013 -- Former Santa Monica Mayor Nat Trives delivered the following speech in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. at Santa Monica's 28th celebration of the Civil Rights leader's birthday. Trives delivered the speech at SGI Auditorium at 525 Wilshire on January 19 .

Santa Monica Faces Possible $29 Million Deficit by 2018
January 18, 2013 -- Santa Monica could be facing upwards of a $29 million deficit by 2018, if steps aren't taken to streamline programs and control staff costs, according to the City's mid-year budget report.

Santa Monica Tourism Remains Steady and Strong
January 18, 2013 -- After a strong 2012, Santa Monica’s visitor industry will need to work hard to maintain its high level of performance in the face of continued economic challenges, according to hotel and tourism officials.

Suspects in Custody after High-Speed Chase through Santa Monica
January 18, 2013 -- Police arrested two suspects Wedneday after a high-speed chase through Santa Monica and neighboring Venice today the men fled the Vons parking on Wilshire Boulevard.

Letter -- Clarifying Santa Monica's Smoking Law
January 18, 2013 -- The last paragraphs of your "nonsmoking law" article need clarification. Current tenants are asked to designate their unit as "smoking" or "non smoking," but if they do not choose to designate, the unit is classified as "undesignated." Undesignated units are for all intents and purposes treated as "smoking" units.

Santa Monica Earns an A for Anti-Smoking Efforts
January 17, 2013 -- Santa Monica was one of 17 municipalities in the state and one of seven in Southern California to earn an A from the American Lung Association for its efforts to stamp out smoking, according to a report released Wednesday.

Santa Monica's Streets Are Paved with Green
January 17, 2013 -- “We got about two or three more days of work,” the man in the orange vest said. “We're almost done.” Across the street a team of workers were putting another layer of green paint on the street. They had just reached the top of the hill where Ocean Park Boulevard meets Highland Avenue.

Stay Fit During Active Santa Monica Week
January 17, 2013 -- City officials want residents to get ready for Active Santa Monica Week, a citywide initiative that runs from January 20 to January 28 meant to encourage fitness and healthy living.

Former Santa Monica Mayor Remembers His Mother
January 16, 2013 -- “Mom was always looking out. She wanted to know what kind of grades I was getting, what kind of friends I was making.”

Nat Trives, Santa Monica's first black mayor, was reminscing about his days as a student at Lincoln Junior High and the active roll his mother, Lillie Bell Blakley, had in making sure he stayed on the right path.

Santa Monica Miramar Gets “Clarity” on Landmark Designations
January 16, 2013 -- The Landmarks Commission weighed in Monday on which buildings on the campus of the 84-year-old Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica should be given landmark status and which ought to be exempt.

Santa Monica College Receives $1 Million Tech Grant
January 16, 2012 -- The Santa Monica College Foundation has received a $1 million technology grant to expand its online classes in an effort to reach students who cannot attend classes on campus, school officials announced Tuesday.

Crowded Field Vies for Santa Monica Planning Commission Seat
January 15, 2013 -- With one day left, 13 candidates have submitted applications for a seat on the Santa Monica Planning Commission, including three former City Council candidates and three activists who have been embroiled in development controversies.

Santa Monica College Play Selected for Prestigious Festival
January 15, 2012 -- Santa Monica College’s premiere production of a commissioned play about the dramatic struggles of a family in a World War II Japanese internment camp has been selected for the prestigious 2013 Regional Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.

“Mr. Santa Monica” to Headline City's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
January 15, 2013 – Former mayor Nat Trives, who is widely known as “Mr. Santa Monica,” will be the keynote speaker at the City's 28th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday Saturday.

Santa Monica's “Chain Reaction” to Go Before Landmarks Commission Monday
Jannuary 14, 2013 – Having raised only $8,700 to save “Chain Reaction,” supporters of Santa Monica's iconic sculpture have hired a grant writer before heading back to the Landmarks Commission Monday and the City Council later this month.

Santa Monica and Malibu Tax Payers to Save $2.8 Million on Bond Repayment
January 14, 2013 – Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials have reduced the amount of money taxpayers will have to pay back on loans used to fund capital improvement projects on campuses throughout the district.

Early Registration for LA Marathon to Santa Monica at an All-Time High, Race Officials Say
January 14, 2012 – Runners interested in signing up for the 2013 LA Marathon, which ends at the Santa Monica Pier, should do so by Monday if they want to cash in on the discount rates.

Council Takes Steps Toward Dealing with Santa Monica Development Boom
January 11, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council took steps to streamline the development agreement (DA) process Tuesday in order to help deal with a record number of DA applications, but opted not to slow down or stop the flow of major projects.

Good Taste -- Santa Monica's 17th Street Cafe, From First Date to First Choice
January 11, 2013 -- One of my very first memories of 17th Street Cafe was having dinner there with my husband. It was our first official date, more than 24 years ago. Wow! It's amazing how time flies when you're having a good time!

Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce to Celebrate a City “on the Move”
January 11, 2013 -- The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual “State of the City” breakfast on January 24, celebrating a year of economic success in the beachside city and the coming EXPO light rail.

Santa Monica Youth Nonprofit to Keep Funding Through June
January 10, 2013 -- At an emotional meeting that stretched into the early morning Wednesday, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to continue funding the Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) through the end of June, provided that the organization continues working with outside agencies to improve practices.

Three Convicted in Santa Monica Charity Scam
January 10, 2013 -- Three men were convicted Tuesday in County Superior Court of running a charity scam on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade.

Man Who Fell From Santa Monica Cliff Expected to Survive
January 10, 2013 -- Santa Monica Police officials said that a man who fell from the Palisades Bluffs onto the Pacific Coast Highway Tuesday is seriously injured but is expected to survive.

Trailer Park Owners Sue Santa Monica for $50 Million
January 9, 2013 -- Unless the City overturns a decision to rescind a development agreement for the Village Trailer Park, developers will seek more than $50 million in damages and immediately shut down the park, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court Monday.

City Council Approves More Than $1 Million in Expenses for Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus
January 9, 2013 -- The City Council approved $1.1 million in expenses Tuesday to keep Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus fleet in tip-top shape.

Help Count Santa Monica's Homeless
January 9, 2013 -- Santa Monica is asking for volunteers to help with the City's annual homeless count, which will happen through the night on January 30.

Developer to File Lawsuit Over Santa Monica Council Trailer Park Decision
January 8, 2013 -- Owners of the Village Trailer Park (VTP) filed a claim against Santa Monica Monday afternoon, claiming that the City Council welched on a deal when it voted to rescind approval of a development agreement (DA) that had taken six years to broker.

Santa Monica Staff Drops Moratorium Option for Development Agreements
January 8, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council will take a look at a revised work plan that staff hopes will help deal with the 32 development agreement (DA) applications -- up from 26 when the plan was first introduced on December 11 -- in the pipeline.

Santa Monica Bowls for a Cause
January 8, 2013 -- Developers will get a chance to go up against City staff outside the council chambers, hotel employees will test their spin against attorneys and the fire and police chiefs will go head-to-head February 1 during SuperBowl-A-Thon 17.

Youth Center Leader and Santa Monica Staff Have Long History of Tense Relations
January 7, 2013 -- When the City Council decides Tuesday night whether to pull funding from Santa Monica's Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), it could spell the end of long-standing tensions between City Staff and the Center's executive director.

Santa Monica to Seek $12 Million in Transit Funding
January 7, 2012 -- Santa Monica will seek more than $12 million in grants from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to help bankroll seven major capital projects across the city.

Overcome Emotional Eating at the Santa Monica Public Library
January 7, 2012 -- When you get stressed, angry, sad or happy, do you find that your first impulse is to grab something to eat?

Santa Monica Youth Center Recovery Impeded by Internal Battle, Documents Show
January 4, 2013 -- Six members of Santa Monica's Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) board have resigned, calling the environment “toxic,” with some laying the blame for the organization's internal strife at the feet of Executive Director and Founder Oscar de la Torre, according to documents released by the City Wednesday.

City May Take Over Santa Monica Youth Nonprofit Organization
January 4, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council will decide Tuesday whether the City should discontinue funding and temporarily take over administration of the Pico Youth and Family Center after the organization's leadership failed to get the nonprofit's affairs in order.

Santa Monica Landlord to Pay City, Tenant $12,000 in Harassment Battle
January 4, 2013 -- A Santa Monica landlord must pay $12,000 to the City and to the longtime tenant of a rent control unit he is accused of harassing, City officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Youth Center Director Files Complaint Against City Manager
January 3, 2013 -- Days before the City Council decides whether to follow through with a staff recommendation to defund the troubled Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), Executive Director Oscar de la Torre filed a complaint alleging that the City had quashed his freedom to speak out, The Lookout has learned.

Santa Monica's Nativity Displays Come Down Before the Wise Men Show Up
January 3, 2012 -- Baby Jesus won't be in the manger in Santa Monica when the Three Wise Men are scheduled to show up for the Epiphany this Sunday.

Santa Monica Public Library Calls for Book-Givers
January 3, 2012 -- Santa Monica residents have until January 23 to sign up to be a “book giver” for this year's World Book Night.

Santa Monica's Year in Review
January 2, 2013 -- Last year meant many changes for Santa Monica, some small and some quite dramatic. While the beachside city continues to prosper as the economic climate slowly improves, Governor Jerry Brown's decision to kill Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs) -- a major source of funding for Santa Monica's affordable housing -- has left the City with some tough choices to make in the upcoming year.

Good Taste -- Santa Monica's Casa Del Mar, My Beach-Front Favorite
January 2, 2013 -- In the course of my "Good Taste" columns last year, I rarely paid attention to the bevy of world class hotels and restaurants located on the Santa Monica sand. To pay my respects this year to this category, I'll focus on one of my favorites: Casa del Mar.

Santa Monica Public Library Hosts Bluegrass Concert
January 2, 2013 -- Bluegrass fans will get a treat on January 12 when the Susie Glaze & the Hilonesome Duo perform in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium at Santa Monica's Main Library.

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