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

High Place West Adds Affordable Homes to Santa Monica But None to Buy
March 29, 2013 -- High Place West -- a project more than a decade in the making -- officially opened Thursday to much fanfare, bringing 47 affordable units to Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood.

Saint John's May Have to Build Parking Structure
March 29, 2013 -- Santa Monica City Staff will decide whether to make Saint John's Health Center (SJHC) build a parking structure to replace the 450 spaces at the Colorado Center it will lose at the end of March.

Santa Monica Nativity Scene Ban Saved City Work
March 29, 2013 -- A ban on Nativity scenes and holiday decorations in public parks saved the City a considerable amount of work this past holiday season, according to City officials.

Cuba Experts to Hold Symposium at Santa Monica Library
March 28, 2013 -- Wayne Smith, who served as unofficial ambassador to Cuba under President Jimmy Carter and is currently the director of the Cuba Program and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy, will join six other experts on Cuban culture and politics to discuss the future of the Communist island nation at the Santa Monica Public Library on April 11.

Santa Monica Offers “Amnesty” to Hundreds of Unlicensed Businesses
March 28, 2013 -- Businesses operating without licenses in Santa Monica, including those operating out of people's homes, will get most of their penalties waived if they register with the City during its two-month long amnesty program.

Santa Monica Celebrates Benjamin Britten's Party House

March 28, 2013 -- It was a storied party house, and for one whirlwind year it housed some of the most notorious British and American artists of the 20th century, among them its chief tenants, composer Benjamin Britten and his lover, tenor Peter Pears.

Santa Monica Planning Commission to Discuss New Fees for Mid-Sized Developments
March 27, 2013 -- Santa Monica's new zoning ordinance may require developers hoping to build mid-sized developments to pay several new fees for open space, traffic management and childcare.

Santa Monica's Community Corporation to Open New Building
March 27, 2013 -- The Community Corporation of Santa Monica -- the beachside city's largest provider of affordable housing -- will open a new three-story building Thursday, adding 47 new family units in the Pico Neighborhood.

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Boasts Refurbished “Inkie's Scrambler” Ride
March 27, 2013 -- Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier has done some spring cleaning, refurbishing “Inkie's Scrambler,” a 12-car swirling ride decorated with images of the Park's octopus mascot.

Santa Monica Teens Take Top Prize at L.A. County Science Fair
March 26, 2013 -- Three Santa Monica High School students took the top prize in the senior division of Environmental Management at the LA County Science Fair this weekend for their analysis of the effects of a ban on plastic bags in the beachside city.

Santa Monica Bike Center to Celebrate Women and Bikes
March 26, 2013 -- The Santa Monica Bike Center will host a “Cycles and Suffragette” Tea Party Thursday evening at Bird Pick Tea & Herb to celebrate Women's History Month and the role played by bicycles in the struggle for equal rights.

Training Prop Gives Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Passengers a Scare
March 26, 2013 -- The Los Angeles County bomb squad was called out to investigate a suspicious package aboard one of Santa Monica's buses Monday morning, only to find that it was a prop left over from a weekend training exercise.

Santa Monica Airport Tower Decision Could Take a Year, FAA Officials Say
March 25, 2013 -- Federal officials will not decide whether to close the control tower at Santa Moncia Airport (SMO) for at least a year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday.

Good Taste -- My Big Fat Greek Favorite on Santa Monica's Promenade
March 25, 2013 -- Since 1988, before the Third Street Promenade was fully redeveloped into a thriving shopping and entertainment destination, The Stop'N Cafe was providing Greek Cuisine to long-time Santa Monica residents and Promenade pioneers. I was one of them.

Santa Monica Saves Tires from Landfills
March 25, 2013 -- The City of Santa Monica is giving old tires new lives, recycling and reusing the rubber and preventing them from ending up in landfills or from being burned.

Santa Monica Residents Respond to Proposed Gehry Building
March 22, 2013
-- Renowned architect Frank Gehry's first project in his hometown in more than two decades was greeted Thursday night with mixed reactions, ranging from star-struck admirers lauding the proposed 22-story hotel Downtown to residents concerned that the project was far too tall for Santa Monica.

Santa Monica City Council Hears Ambitious Zero Waste Plan
March 22, 2013
-- It could soon become illegal for Santa Moinca residents as well as businesses to throw plastic bottles in their trash cans instead of recycling them.

Santa Monica Police Looking for Suspected Bank Robber
March 22, 2013 -- The Santa Monica Police are looking for a suspect wanted in connection with the Wednesday robbery of a Union Bank on Montana Avenue.

Santa Monica Trailer Park Development Approved
March 21, 2013
-- After more than two months of closed-session discussion, the City Council voted to approve a 377-unit development on the site of one of Santa Monica's two remaining trailer parks Tuesday.

Santa Monica Council Member Says Goodbye to His Mother
March 21, 2013
-- Virginia Ellen Daymude, mother of Council member Bob Holbrook and one of Santa Monica's “Rosie the Riveters,” died last Tuesday after a battle with cancer. She was 92 years old.

Santa Monica's Pacific Wheel One of “World's Coolest”
March 21, 2013 -- The Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier has been dubbed one of the “world's coolest” Ferris wheels in the March issue of Travel + Leisure Magazine.

Former Attorney to Seek $1 Billion from Santa Monica over Trailer Park Negotiations
March 20, 2013 -- A former Rent Control attorney is threatening to sue the City of Santa Monica for more than $1 billion over the development agreement (DA) negotiations for the Village Trailer Park.

Residents to Weigh-In on New Gehry Tower in Santa Monica
March 20, 2013 -- Santa Monica residents will get their first chance Thursday to discuss plans for a proposed 22-story hotel on Ocean Avenue, the first project by world-renown architect Frank Gehry in his hometown in 25 years.

Santa Monica's Main Street Gets Big Bellies
March 20, 2013 -- In an effort to keep city sidewalks clean, Santa Monica installed 13 solar-powered trash compactors along Main Street last week.

Former Santa Monica Mayors Rally to Save “Chain Reaction”
March 19, 2013 -- In an open letter Monday, six of Santa Monica's former mayors voiced their support for saving “Chain Reaction,” Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Paul Conrad's 26-foot-tall anti-nuclear sculpture.

Santa Monica Nonprofit to Deliver Meals on Bikes
March 19, 2013 -- Meals on Wheels West (MOWW) in Santa Monica is looking for volunteers to help deliver meals to homebound and elderly residents by bike.

Pacific Park Ferris Wheel to Go Dark in Santa Monica
March 19, 2013 -- It was red for Valentine's, green for Earth Day, red, white and blue for Memorial Day and, on Saturday for an hour, it will go dark.

Letter -- Save Santa Monica's "Chain Reaction"
March 19, 2013 -- As former Mayors of Santa Monica, we would like to take this opportunity to individually and collectively voice our full support for saving and restoring the iconic "Chain Reaction" public art peace sculpture in our Civic Center, especially now that it has unanimously and rightly been designated a City Landmark by our Santa Monica Landmarks Commission.

Santa Monica Residents and Businesses Share Concerns over Lincoln's Future
March 18, 2013 -- A survey conducted by the resident-organized Lincoln Boulevard Task Force showed that Santa Monica residents and business leaders alike want to prioritize making Lincoln Boulevard a safer street with less traffic and more coffee shops and restaurants.

Santa Monica to Withdraw from “Obsolete” Joint Powers Agreement
March 18, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to withdraw from a 14-year natural disaster preparedness agreement with neighboring cities.

Marathon Runners Greeted by Gray Skies in Santa Monica
March 18, 2013 -- Cool ocean breezes and overcast skies met the thousands of runners participating in the 28th annual Los Angeles Marathon as they finished up the race in Downtown Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Street Closures on Marathon Day
March 15, 2013 -- In preparation for Sunday's marathon, Santa Monica is letting residents and visitors know which streets will be closed this weekend.

Homelessness and Traffic Top Santa Monicans' Concerns, Survey Says
March 15, 2013 -- Based on a telephone survey conducted at the beginning of this year, Santa Monica residents rate homelessness and traffic as their top two major concerns.

Santa Monica Officials Break Ground on Middle School Library Project
March 15, 2013 -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials broke ground Wednesday on a new $16 million library and classroom building for Lincoln Middle School.

Santa Monica Library Hosts Women in Nanotechnology Discussion
March 15, 2013 -- In honor of Women's History Month, the Santa Monica Public Library will host four women PhDs from the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC-CEIN) Sunday.

Former Santa Monica Police Chief Helps Reinvigorate Inglewood
March 14, 2013 -- When former Santa Monica Police Chief James Butts was elected mayor of Inglewood in 2011, the city was in dire straits, facing an almost $18 million deficit, dilapidated infrastructure and public safety issues.

Santa Monica Moves Forward with Well-Being Project
March 14, 2013 -- Santa Monica will move forward with plans to develop an index to measure its residents well-being after it was awarded $1 million for the project by Bloomberg Philanthropies Wednesday.

Santa Monica Drops Traffic Consultant in Wake of “NIMBY” Controversy
March 14, 2013 -- Santa Monica will no longer work with Jeff Tumlin, a traffic consultant with Nelson/Nygaard, after resident groups demanded the City terminate its contract with him over comments made in his resume.

Santa Monica Wins $1 Million Bloomberg Prize
March 13, 2013 -- Santa Monica is one of five cities named as winners in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Contest, according to the New York Times.

The End of the Mother Road in Santa Monica
March 13, 2013 -- Starting in Chicago, Illinois, the world-famous 2,451-mile highway known as Route 66 winds through six states, until it finally comes to an end, overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the iconic Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Preps for Marathon Weekend
March 13, 2013 -- Officials are getting ready for the Los Angeles Marathon Sunday and the tens of thousands of visitors it will bring to Santa Monica.

The Changing Face of Santa Monica's Planning Commission
March 12, 2013 -- With Santa Monica facing an unprecedented 35 pending development agreements (DAs), including three towers each over 20-stories tall, many are wondering where the City's second-most powerful body will fall when it comes to he flood of development.

Former State Senator to Talk Women in Politics at Santa Monica College
March 12, 2013 -- Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl will tackle issues surrounding women in politics today at Santa Monica College's “Women at the Political Table: Set It or Sit at It?” discussion on March 21.

League of Women Voters to Honor Women Who Shape Santa Monica
March 12, 2013 -- March is Women's History Month and the Santa Monica League of Women Voters will celebrate four honorees at its sixth annual Women Who Shape Santa Monica event Thursday.

Santa Monica's Last Used Book Store Thrives the Old-Fashioned Way
March 11, 2013 -- “Look at this collection!” shouted Rocco Ingala, the owner of Angel City Books, Santa Monica's last used bookstore. Ingala looked more like an aging rock star than a book peddler, in his denim jacket and with his shoulder-length gray hair.

Santa Monica Police Search for Kidnapped Child
March 11, 2013 -- Santa Monica Police are searching for an eight-year-old boy and his mother after the two went missing last Wednesday.

Good Taste --Santa Monica's Own Rustic Tuscan Farmhouse
March 11, 2013 -- My friends Nancy and Marlene and I got together to do a Good Taste review last week. Marlene selected the restaurant. She chose one of her favorite establishments: Capo.

Planning Commission Tackles Future of Getting Around Downtown Santa Monica
March 8, 2013 -- Downtown Santa Monica could see itself transformed in the coming years, with less on-street parking, one-way streets, fewer left-hand turn lanes, sidewalks as wide as 25 feet and even new streets along the 10 Freeway.

Santa Monica Council to Vote on Sustainability Bill of Rights
March 8, 2013
-- The Santa Monica City Council will decide Tuesday whether to adopt an ordinance that would enshrine the right of residents -- both sentient and otherwise -- to live in an environmentally sustainable city.

“Bully” to Be Screened at Santa Monica Library
March 8, 2013 -- For film director Lee Hirsch, making his acclaimed documentary “Bully” -- an unflinching look at the abuse suffered by school kids at the hands of bullies -- was a cathartic experience.

New DA for Santa Monica Trailer Park Could End Two-Month Stalemate
March 7, 2013 -- After two months of closed-session negotiations, Santa Monica has brokered a deal with owners of the Village Trailer Park that paves the way for the development of one of the City's two remaining trailer parks.

Part II: Lessons Learned in Santa Monica's Historical Battle with Height
March 7, 2013 -- Part two of a two-part series that explores how Santa Monica has resisted tall buildings in the last three decades.
With three towers exceeding 20 stories proposed for Downtown Santa Monica, a three-decade long debate has once again begun. Should Santa Monica, one of the densest cities in southern California, build up?

Santa Monica Youth Could Advance to State Boys & Girls Club Competition
March 7, 2013 -- Santa Monica teen Gretchen Galanis will be one of six finalists competing to represent Los Angeles County in the Boys & Girls of America California Youth of the Year competition.

Part I: Santa Monica's Three-Decade Battle with Height
March 6, 2013 -- Part one of a two-part series that explores how Santa Monica has resisted tall buildings in the last three decades.
Traveling west on Wilshire Boulevard, it's easy to notice when West Los Angeles ends and Santa Monica begins. Once you enter the beachside city, high-rises abruptly give way to quaint, low buildings, no taller than a couple stories.

Oversight and Monitoring Contracts Top Santa Monica Council's Consent Calendar
March 6, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council will vote Tuesday to increase spending on oversight for the Charnock Well Field Restoration Project and on monitoring wages paid to construction workers building affordable housing for the City.

“The Rainmaker” Features Love, Desire and Magic at the Edgemar in Santa Monica
March 6, 2013 – Like Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Rainmaker,” currently being staged at the Edgemar in Santa Monica, is the story of plain young spinster courted by a charismatic gentleman caller.

Santa Monica Wrestles with Tall Buildings
March 5, 2013 -- As developers are looking to build up in Santa Monica's Downtown, residents have begun asking themselves, how high is too high for the beachside community.

Anti-Airport Activists Petition Congress Members to Close Tower at Santa Monica Airport
March 5, 2013 -- Anti-Airport Activists petitioned Congress members Henry Waxman and Karen Bass Monday, calling for the closure of Santa Monica Airport's (SMO) control tower.

Good Taste -- A Taste of Italian Chocolate on Santa Monica's Montana Avenue
March 5, 2013 -- A week or so ago, my friend, who follows my column, called to rave about a new Italian cafe. She said that they had just opened, and I should check it out. I trusted her judgment, so off I went, not really knowing what to expect.

Santa Monica Adopts Climate Action Plan
March 4, 2013 -- In an effort to curb Santa Monica's greenhouse gas emissions, the City Council unanimously adopted a plan Tuesday that would eliminate 29,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2015.

Planning Commission to Consider Parking Ordinance Update
March 4, 2013 -- The Planning Commission will weigh-in Wednesday on a proposed update to Santa Monica's Parking In-Lieu Fee Program that would nearly double the City's revenue for public parking in the Downtown area.

Santa Monica Artists Featured During Annual Airport ArtWalk
March 4, 2013 -- Santa Monicans this month will get an inside look at the creative process, as well as the chance to view and buy the resulting art works during the7th Annual Santa Monica Airport ArtWalk.

New Gehry Building Planned in Downtown Santa Monica
March 1, 2013 -- World-renowned architect Frank Gehry promises to change the face of Santa Monica’s skyline with a proposed 22-story hotel Downtown, his first project in the city he calls home in a quarter century.

Santa Monica Traffic Consultant Clarifies “NIMBY” Comment
March 1, 2013 -- Traffic Consultant Jeff Tumlin, who came under fire from neighborhood groups this week for saying that Santa Monica politics were dominated by NIMBYs, said that he doesn't believe the term, which denotes residents reflexively opposed to development, is applicable to modern-day Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Rewards Biking and Walking to School
March 1, 2013 -- Four Santa Monica public schools will enter into a friendly competition geared to making walking and biking to school a habit, City and School District officials announced Wednesday.

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