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

Fairmont Miramar Fires Another Shot in Santa Monica's Hotel Wars
June 28, 2013 – The PR war over development between Downtown Santa Monica’s two largest luxury hotels escalated Friday with the Fairmont Miramar leveling another attack against the neighboring Huntley Hotel.

Supreme Court Ruling on Development Will Have Little Impact on Santa Monica, Experts Say
June 28, 2013 -- A Supreme Court decision Tuesday that expanded Constitutional protections for landowners who want to develop their land will have little impact on Santa Monica, local experts said Thursday.

Santa Monica City Council OKs $10 Million for Tech and Transit
June 28, 2013 -- The City Council unanimously approved more than $10 million to pay for tech upgrades and transit-related projects in Santa Monica Tuesday.

Santa Monica Police on the Lookout for Identity Theft Suspect, Alleged Arsonists
June 28, 2013 -- Police are looking for a young woman suspected of using a counterfeit card to withdraw money from someone else's bank account and, in an unrelated incident, three suspected arsonists.

Council Slashes Funding for Santa Monica Youth Center
June 27, 2013 -- The City Council reduced funding for Santa Monica's Pico Youth and Family Center by about $90,000 Tuesday night, while boosting funding for job training and other youth initiatives.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Candidate Filing Fee
June 27, 2013 -- The City Council voted 6 to 1 Tuesday night to charge potential candidates $25 to run for political office in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Conservancy to Hold Post Office Rally
June 27, 2013 -- The battle to keep Downtown Santa Monica’s main Post Office open may be over, but the war to preserve the historic 75-year-old building at Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue is just beginning.

Santa Monica's Ready for Tsunamis, Says National Weather Service
June 26, 2013 -- The ocean offers many perks to residents living in Santa Monica, like ocean breezes, sublime sunsets and panoramic views of seemingly infinite azure seascapes.

Youth Program Trains Next Generation of Santa Monica's Techies
June 26, 2013 -- For most, summer in Santa Monica doesn't bring to mind the fast-paced, high-intensity world of internet startups. But for the nine high school students participating in the City's Youth Technology Program, that's exactly the world they will immerse themselves in for the next six weeks.

Santa Monica Loses a Civic Champion
June 26, 2013 -- Santa Monica architect Jim Mount – a tireless champiomn of affordable housing and a key player in an audacious plan to build a causeway atop the Pacific – died this month of natural causes. He was 88.

Controversial Santa Monica Hotel Renovation Follows the Rules, Staff Says
June 25, 2013 -- Despite residents' claims, City staff has affirmed that a small hotel in a quiet residential neighborhood north of Downtown Santa Monica is not breaking any rules.

Santa Monica City Council to Vote on Fees for Political Candidates
June 25, 2013 -- Running for office in Santa Monica may get a bit more expensive if the City Council votes Tuesday to levy two new fees on candidates.

Catch a Movie Under the Stars in Downtown Santa Monica
June 25, 2013 -- Travel to Mexico with three gun slingers or into the past with Marty McFly this summer when Downtown Santa Monica screens three free movies on the Promenade under the stars.

Opinion --Proposed Pico Youth Center Cuts “Threat to Public Safety”
June 25, 2013 -- Another cycle of gang related shootings and homicide re-traumatized the Pico Neighborhood at the same time the City staff recommends that the Santa Monica City Council cut 1/3 (close to $100,000) of the budget for the Pico Youth & Family Center (PYFC), our community’s most effective response to gangs and youth violence.

Youth Center Demands Grassroots Answer to Santa Monica Violence
June 24, 2013 -- The Pico Youth & Family Center (PYFC) -- which is facing budget cuts from the City Tuesday -- is calling for a grassroots response to the youth violence that errupted in Santa Monica earlier this month.

Santa Monica Dems Tackle Government Surveillance and Drones
June 24, 2013 -- The Santa Monica Democratic Club will vet its concerns over increased Federal surveillance of U.S. citizens and the use of drones on American soil at its Wednesday meeting.

StorySanta Monica Police Arrest Registered Sex Offender, Seeks Victims
June 24, 2013 -- Santa Monica police are looking for possible victims of a homeless registered sex offender who sexually battered a woman last Wednesday.

Historic Santa Monica Post Office Closes Next Week
June 21, 2013 -- Residents who showed up Thursday morning to get their mail might have thought that the historic Downtown Santa Monica post office, which will be shuttered for sale, closed a week early.

Santa Monica Falls Short of Low-Income Housing Goals
June 21, 2013 -- Only three of the 101 affordable housing units completed in Santa Monica over the past fiscal year are affordable to low-income households, while the rest are within the means of those with moderate incomes, according to a report released by the City this week.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Shakes Up Schedules
June 21, 2013 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus will adjust schedules to better suit riders' itineraries over the summer, City transit officials announced Thursday.

Shifting Policies Toward Youth Violence Has Long History in Santa Monica
June 20, 2013 -- Over the past 13 years, Santa Monica has spent millions of dollars to build and sustain a robust network of nonprofits and school-related programs in an attempt to curb youth violence.

Officials Focus on Safety as Santa Monica Sees Rise in Bicyclists
June 20, 2013 -- Santa Monica is seeing a rise in the number of people pedaling through its streets, and with the rise of bicyclists comes a concerted effort to ensure the rules of the road are obeyed, City officials said.

Santa Monica Police Arrest Bicycle Thief
June 20, 2013 -- If your Schwinn or Diamondback was stolen in Santa Monica over the past nine months, there’s a chance the Police Department has recovered your bike.

OPINION -- Being “The Other” in Santa Monica
June 20, 2013 -- This was initially written on Monday June 11, 2013 as I was reflecting on the atrocities and travesties that occurred in Santa Monica on June 7. The lives of five people were senselessly lost in a matter of minutes -- an SMC groundskeeper, his daughter, a father and his son.

Shifting Policies Toward Youth Violence Has Long History in Santa Monica
June 20, 2013 -- Over the past 13 years, Santa Monica has spent millions of dollars to build and sustain a robust network of nonprofits and school-related programs in an attempt to curb youth violence.

City Calls for Closer Collaboration to Solve Santa Monica's Youth Violence Problem
June 19, 2013 -- After a series of shootings left seven dead earlier this month, Santa Monica officials are once again taking steps to address the youth violence that continues to flare up in the normally sleepy beach town.

Los Angeles Bicyclist Convicted of Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Santa Monica Crash
June 19, 2013 -- For the first time in Santa Monica, a bicyclist has been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon after an accident he caused by flouting traffic rules left a pedestrian with serious injuries, police said Tuesday.

Live Views of Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park Now a Click Away
June 19, 2013 -- Those who want to see what’s happening at Pacific Park and enjoy its sweeping views of the bustling Santa Monica Pier and placid Pacific Ocean, are only a simple mouse click away.

Using the Race Card in Santa Monica's Hotel War
June 18, 2013 -- Last Thursday, just hours after a flyer denouncing Huntley Hotel owner Sohrab Sassounian of being a greedy, Beverly Hills millionaire appeared on Santa Monica doorsteps, The Lookout began receiving emails denouncing the hit piece as “racist.”

Effort to Save Santa Monica's “Chain Reaction” Moving Ahead Slowly
June 18, 2013 -- With a February deadline to raise $250,000 to save Santa Monica's “Chain Reaction” sculpture, activists will soon be turning to foundations to save the iconic anti-nuclear art work at the Civic Center.

Dean of Counseling Named Santa Monica College Manager of the Year
June 18, 2013 -- Brenda Johnson Benson -- who has been instrumental in making Santa Monica College the top transfer school in the state -- has been named SMC’s 2013 Manager of the Year.

Santa Monicans March for Peace
June 17, 2013 -- It’ s been 15 years since his two sons were “shot and murdered” in Santa Monica, but when Bill Juarez sees a young man “wearing a hat the same way” an irrational hope springs.

Council Calls for Open Mind, Advisory Board to Save Santa Monica Civic
June 17, 2013
-- The City Council unanimously endorsed plans to revise Santa Monica's Civic Center Specific Plan (CCSP) to create a cultural hub around the Civic Auditorium, a 55-year-old landmark badly in need of repair

Santa Monica Rent Board Raises Registration Fee, Says Landlords Have to Pay
June 17, 2013 -- For the first time since Santa Monica's Rent Control law passed more than 30 years ago, landlords won't be able to recoup all of the registration fees they pay to the Rent Board each year.

OPINION: A Plea for Peace and Tolerance
June 17, 2013 -- Those of us in the Santa Monica College family grieve for the victims of the June 7 violence that robbed many of their lives and shattered peace and security at Santa Monica College. Such events have become so common throughout our nation, that it is not surprising that many just want a return to normality.

Santa Monica’s Pacific Park Celebrates Father’s Day with free “Mini Hoops”
June 14, 2013 -- Dads will get a chance to test their open shot on Father’s Day with a free round of play at the new “Mini Hoops” basketball game at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Airport Manager Leaves Behind Legacy of Fairness, Compromise
June 14, 2013 -- Bob Trimborn -- who for nearly two decades worked to balance the conflicting interests of area homeowners and jet-setting millionaires -- will retire as Santa Monica’s Airport Manager at the end of the month, City officials confirmed Thursday.

Santa Monica Hotel War Heats Up
June 14, 2013 -- In a flyer distributed across Santa Monica by foot Thursday, Miramar officials leveled their first direct attack against the owner of the Huntley Hotel, who has been bankrolling opposition to the 86-year-old competitor’s proposed redevelopment.

Santa Monica Gunman Left Behind Note, Assembled Weapons
June 14, 2013 -- Gunman John Zawahri, who went on a murderous rampage through Santa Monica Friday, left behind a note and assembled or altered the weapons he used to kill five victims, Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said at a press conference Thursday evening.

Plan to Halt Tower Developments in Downtown Santa Monica Falls Flat
June 13, 2013 -- After a nearly three-hour debate, City Council member Kevin McKeown's plan to put off discussing three major development agreements (DAs) in Downtown Santa Monica failed Tuesday night.

Police Arrest Three Suspects in Santa Monica Shooting
June 13, 2013 -- Police have arrested three gang members suspected of fatally shooting one man and critically wounding another in Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood Tuesday morning.

School District Gets Three New Administrators
June 13, 2013 --The School District has hired a new principal and two assistant principals to help lead three Santa Monica schools.

Recent Spate of Shootings Break Long Peace in Santa Monica
June 12, 2013 -- In the past five days in Santa Monica, seven people have been fatally shot and seven wounded -- in three separate incidents -- that have shocked the usually quiet beachside town.

Santa Monica Police Seek Robbery Suspects
June 12, 2013 -- Santa Monica Police are seeking help in finding the two suspects involved in the kidnapping and robbery of five victims at the Seaview Motel in April.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Nearly $7 Million in Spending
June 12, 2013 -- Santa Monica's City Council unanimously approved $6.8 million in spending Tuesday night, including funds for State and Federal lobbyists, a new firefighting airplane and $2.5 million worth of radio equipment.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Renovation Needs Open SpaceJune 11, 2013 --Back in April 2002 while on the City Council, I voted to uphold the Historic Landmark designation for the Civic Auditorium.

One Dead, One Wounded in Another Santa Monica Shooting
June 11, 2013 -- One man is dead and another seriously injured after the two were shot in an alley in Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood early Monday morning, police said.

Santa Monica College Recovers After Friday's Shootout
June 11, 2013 -- A piece of paper hangs on the front door of the Santa Monica College library announcing that the building would be closed until June 18.

Fifth Shooting Victim Was Familiar Face at Santa Monica College
June 11, 2013 -- Unlike most students at the Santa Monica College library Friday, Margarita Gomez wasn’t there to prepare for her finals when the gunman dressed in black and wielding a semi automatic weapon approached.

Plan to Halt Downtown Santa Monica Tower Projects May Have Little Impact
June 11, 2013 -- In the past week, neighborhood groups, community activists and at least one major political organization have thrown their weight behind an effort to halt discussion of three major Santa Monica projects until a Downtown Specific Plan is adopted.

Policy Changes Could Make Santa Monica Housing More Affordable
June 10, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council will consider an ordinance Tuesday that would address the dearth of affordable housing for the poor in the increasingly upscale seaside city.

Fifth Victim Dead in Santa Monica Shooting Spree
June 10, 2013 -- The death toll in Friday's shooting spree that culminated at the main campus of Santa Monica College rose to six Sunday, including the gunman shot by police, who has been identified as John Zawahri.

A Killing Spree Hits Home in Santa Monica
June 10, 2013 -- I was feeling pretty good, pretty energetic Friday morning. I'd run the length of Palisades Park and back, overlooking the ocean, finishing off with a sprint that left me out of breath and euphoric.

LETTERS: The Truth About Development
June 10, 2013 -- I attended a very eye opening discussion at a workshop at Esalen in Big Sur this week. The Relational Turn: The Practice of Sustainability

Four Victims, Gunman Killed in Santa Monica Shooting Spree
June 7, 2013 -- Four people were killed Friday in a shooting rampage that began at a house a dozen blocks from Santa Monica College and ended inside the campus library where the gunman was shot to death by police, said Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

FelCor Reveals Plans for Hotel by Santa Monica Pier
June 7, 2013 -- FelCor Lodging Trust filed plans with the Planning Department early Thursday morning for a long-awaited redesign of the former Holiday Inn. The proposed redevelopment sits at the hub of a swirl of projects that promises to revitalize the area near the Santa Monica Pier.

New Bus Line to Boost Santa Monica Tourism
June 7, 2013 -- In a move that will further boost tourism in Santa Monica, Starline Tour's has expanded its Hop on, Hop off sightseeing service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the popular beachside city.

Four Santa Monica College Students Ride to Washington
June 7, 2013 -- For the 22nd year, Santa Monica College (SMC) has named four students to participate in the Dale Ride Internship program in Washington D.C.

LETTERS: A Gift for Every Graduate
June 7, 2013 -- It’s that time of year again. Graduations are upon us and students are now preparing to embark on the next stage of their lives. Whether going on to college or entering the military or the workforce, this is a big moment in a young person’s life. As the celebrations begin, why not give a new graduate a gift that will last for years to come – why not help them register to vote?

Save the Santa Monica Civic Meeting Turns Out Residents in Force
June 6, 2013 -- There were as many ideas as there were attendees at Tuesday night's community meeting to brainstorm ways of saving Santa Monica’s storied Civic Auditorium, which will be closed indefinitely at the end of the month.

Residents Have Strong Ties to Santa Monica Civic's Past
June 6, 2013 -- For more than a decade, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium -- scheduled to close at the end of this month – has been a venue for little more than gem, antique and cat and dog shows.

Mexican Executive Wins Santa Monica College Distinguished Alumni Award
June 6, 2013 -- A former Santa Monica College student who has advised the U.S. President and represents one of Mexico’s largest conglomerates has been named winner of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Recognition Award.

Vazquez Discusses Height in Downtown Santa Monica
June 5, 2013 -- City Council member Tony Vazquez raised eyebrows last week when he implied he didn't want to see any buildings taller than the 84 feet allowed under the current Downtown Specific Plan.

Businesswoman Found Not Guilty in Santa Monica Slaying
June 5, 2013 -- A jury Tuesday found a business woman accused of the 2008 killing of a 21-year-old model in her Santa Monica apartment not guilty of murder.

Santa Monica’s Pico Center Holds Gala Event Saturday
June 5, 2013 -- Santa Monica’s Pico Youth and Family Center will hold its 6th Annual Hope & Unity Awards Gala Saturday at the Sheraton Delfina Hotel.

New Downtown Santa Monica Hotel Project Could be Unveiled This Week
June 4, 2013 -- A long-anticipated proposal to redevelop the former Holiday Inn hotel directly across from the Santa Monica Pier will likely be unveiled this week, a move that could fuel the ongoing controversy over height limits Downtown.

Santa Monica Planning Commission to Tackle Traffic
June 4, 2013 -- When Santa Monica adopted the Land Use and Circulation Element in 2010, along with the plan came the promise of “no new net PM trips” in cars.

USC President to Speak at Santa Monica College Commencement
June 4, 2013 -- For years, Santa Monica College has been the top feeder of transfer students to the University of Southern California.

Mixed Response for Call to Postpone Big Downtown Santa Monica Projects
June 3, 2013 -- A proposal by three Santa Monica City Council members to postpone development agreements (DAs) for three major hotels Downtown has garnered mixed responses from the community.

Public to Weigh-in on Future of Santa Monica Civic
June 3, 2013 -- How can the City save the historic 55-year-old Santa Monica Civic, a once sought-after venue that in its heyday hosted the Academy Awards and legendary performances by James Brown, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones? Even “Weird” Al Yankovic staged a raucously memorable performance there.

Good Taste - Santa Monica’s Trattoria Amici - A Great Place to Celebrate
June 3, 2013 -- May 28 was my birthday. My awesome associate Dienna took me to lunch. I chose to go to Amici. I have passed the place for years on my way home from work, and just never got there. Today was the day!


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