archiveSanta Monica Lookout
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- May 2015

Santa Monica Youth Center Fights To Save Funding
May 29, 2015 -- City Council members listened to hours of passionate appeals and even a street poem, but in the end made no formal decision early Friday on a $190,000 grant request from the Pico Youth and Family Center to fund nearly half its annual budget for next year.

Wellness Center at Santa Monica High In Line For City Grant
May 29, 2015 -- A Wellness Center at Santa Monica High School that provides physical and mental health services to teens is among nearly two dozen local nonprofits that deserve to receive grants from the City, officials told City Council members Thursday.

Santa Monica Celebrates Greenway Project Milestone
May 29, 2015 -- More bikes and pedestrians is one of the main goals of the City’s Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway project, the first phase of which is now complete, officials announced.

Santa Monica Taps LA Deputy Mayor As New City Manager
May 28, 2015 -- Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole, a champion of the New Urbanism movement with decades of experience as both a city administrator and elected leader, was named Wednesday as Santa Monica’s new city manager.

Charter Buyout of Time Warner Bad for Customers Says Santa Monica Consumer Group
May 28, 2015 -- Charter Communications’ bid to buy Time Warner Cable for $55.3 billion is a bad deal for customers, said the founder of Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.

Santa Monica Area Lawmaker Seeks Ban on Cosmetic Microbeads
May 28, 2015 -- They’re found in virtually hundreds of products -- from daily skin scrubs to body washes to acne treatments -- but a bill by a state assemblyman from Santa Monica would ban the use of plastic exfoliating beads from all cosmetics.

Longtime Principal of Award-Winning Santa Monica Continuation School Retiring
May 27, 2015 -- Teens credit her with turning their lives around, but after 11 years leading the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s last-chance campus for struggling students, Dr. Janie Gates has announced her retirement as principal of Olympic High School.

Pico Youth Center Plans Protest At Santa Monica City Hall
May 27, 2015 -- Facing a big loss of grant funding, Pico Youth and Family Center officials say they plan to march on Santa Monica City Hall this week.

Nonprofit Names Santa Monica Best Restored Beach
May 27, 2015 -- Calling it a “dynamic link between the natural and man-made worlds,” a national coastline preservation group has tapped Santa Monica State Beach as winner of its 2015 Best Restored Beach Award.

Proposed California Law to Help Enforce Santa Monica’s Ban on Short-term Rentals
May 26, 2015 -- A bill making its way through the California senate would provide a helping hand to Santa Monica and other cities trying to regulate the explosion of short-term rentals in their communities.

Santa Monica Festival Spotlights Teen Filmmakers
May 26, 2015 -- Teen filmmakers from Santa Monica, the United States and around the world will showcase their talents at the 10th annual Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival.

Tourism in Santa Monica Posts Big Gains in 2014
May 26, 2015 -- Tourism in Santa Monica posted big gains in 2014, jumping 8.4 percent to 7.9 million visitors, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) reported last week.

Santa Monica’s Proposed Budget Includes Little for Affordable Housing
May 22, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s proposed $564.3 million budget for the 2015-2016 year has almost no money earmarked for affordable housing, at a time when housing costs are soaring in the bayside city.

Nonprofit Santa Monica Groups Getting Millions In City Grants
May 22, 2015 --  Santa Monica will dole out millions of dollars in federal funding human services programs if City Council members approve a slew of grant proposals from local agencies.

Santa Monica Pico Youth And Family Center May Have to Close
May 22, 2015 -- A youth gang diversion and low-income family assistance center in the heart of Santa Monica's Latino and black community will shut its doors, its executive director said Thursday, unless he can convince City Council members to restore a $190,000 grant.

African-American Santa Monica Resident Tells of Repeated Stops by Police
May 21, 2015 -- Beverly, an African-American woman in her mid-60s, says she has been stopped twice by Santa Monica police while walking around the neighborhood where she has lived for nearly two decades.

Santa Monica City Finances Show Strong Recovery, Officials Report
May 21, 2015 -- The City of Santa Monica’s projected revenues for the 2015-16 fiscal year has reached pre-recession levels, showing a strong enough recovery to include hiring nearly 50 new staff members, a report by the City’s top budget official said.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign
May 21, 2015 -- More than 100 guests attended the launch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s annual Back-a-Youth campaign, which aims to raise $250,000 this year to support the club’s youth programs, officials said.

Change in New Santa Monica Zoning Law Decreases Parking, Community Groups Contend
May 20, 2015 -- A provision in Santa Monica’s new zoning law would allow developers to offer less parking than was once required, igniting the ire of community and slow-growth groups who say the last thing the car-clogged city needs is less parking.

Iconic Hot Dog Stand Near Santa Monica Pier Slated for Replacement
May 20, 2015 -- Hot Dog On A Stick's oldest and most popular stand took a step toward getting a long-needed upgrade after Santa Monica's Landmarks Commission took no action on plans to demolish the tiny shack -- which first opened on Ocean Avenue next to the Pier in 1946 -- and replace it with a new building.

Santa Monica Police Will Be Extra Vigilant This Holiday Weekend
May 20, 2015 -- Two crucial things to remember when getting behind the wheel this holiday weekend: buckle up and be sober.

Santa Monica Officials and Residents to Discuss Black Man’s Alleged Rough Arrest
May 19, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s chief of police and its city manager are scheduled to meet Thursday with local NAACP members and residents to discuss allegations that officers roughed up an African American man while arresting him at a City park last month.

Santa Monica College among First in State to Offer 4-Year Degrees
May 19, 2015 -- Santa Monica College made history Monday when it became the last of a select group of California community colleges allowed to offer four-year degrees.

Kids Create Largest Ever Mural at Santa Monica Pier
May 19, 2015 -- Dozens of children will put the finishing touches Tuesday on a mural at the Santa Monica Pier that organizers are calling the largest mural ever painted.

Can Santa Monica Enforce New Ban on Short-Term Rentals?
May 18, 2015 -- The Santa Monica City Council last week voted unanimously to impose the strictest crackdown yet on short-term rentals. Now the question is: Can the City enforce its sweeping new legislation?

Santa Monica Considering Charging to Charge E-Vehicles
May 18, 2015 -- As electric vehicles continue making gains in the new car market more drivers are lining up at Santa Monica’s public charging stations for a free charge. But that could change, said City officials.

Family Saturday Coming to Santa Monica’s Tongva Park
May 18, 2015 -- They’ve “hooped it up” at the White House with Michelle Obama, and now KidTribe is bringing its hula hoop fitness concert to Santa Monica’s Tongva Park this month.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Groups look to Public Vote on Development Issues
May 15, 2015 -- Despite votes by the Santa Monica City Council  to curb high density development, the city’s two largest slow-growth groups are exploring a possible ballot measure that would send big projects directly to voters for final approval.

Measles Vaccination Bill Co-Authored by Santa Monica  Legislator Passed by Senate
May 15, 2015 -- Controversial legislation co-authored by Santa Monica State Sen. Ben Allen to require vaccinations of school children against diseases like the measles was approved Thursday by the California State Senate.

Santa Monica Taps New Water Saving Campaign
May 15, 2015 -- After putting residential water allowances temporarily on hold, Santa Monica will begin sending out notices about the program later this month, officials said.

Santa Monica City Council Bans Short-Term Rentals Despite Protests
May 14, 2015 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday gave a quick, final approval to a ban on renting out space to visitors for short stays, despite 11th-hour protests from residents who said renting out their units helps them pay the bills in the expensive seaside city.

Police Seek Witnesses to Crash that Killed Santa Monica Teen; City Offers Counseling
May 14, 2015 -- Police are seeking witnesses to a fatal collision that took the life of a 16-year-old Santa Monica High School student this past weekend, as the City gropes with the loss by offering free counseling.

Santa Monica Bans Income Discrimination Against Tenants
May 14, 2015 -- Housing discrimination based on a potential renters’ income is now against the law in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Representative’s Sugary Drink Tax Dies In Assembly
May 14, 2015 -- A Santa Monica-area state lawmaker’s bill to add a 2-cent tax on sugary beverages to pay for health promotion programs has died in the Assembly.

Santa Monica-Malibu Schools District Faces at Least $7.4 million Budget Shortfall
May 13, 2015 -- With its fundraising goals coming up short and its costs exceeding its revenues, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is facing at least a $7.4-million budget shortfall in the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

Santa Monica Man Files Claim Over Arrest
May 13, 2015 -- A 36-year-old African American man has filed a claim against the City alleging he was roughly treated by Santa Monica police during his arrest while charging his e-vehicle at a local park last month.

Local Consumers Group Questions Safety of Google’s Driverless Cars
May 13, 2015 -- While tech companies scramble to develop a new generation of driverless cars, one local consumer advocacy group says not so fast.

New Project Will Clean LAX Pollution Going Into Santa Monica Bay
May 12, 2015 -- Prompted in part by tighter state regulations at industrial sites including airports, Los Angeles official have moved ahead with a long-delayed project to clean up millions of gallons of polluted storm water runoff from LAX before it dumps into Santa Monica Bay.

County Homeless Count Shows Increase
May 12, 2015 -- More than 41,100 people were living on the streets, in vehicles and in emergency shelters in Los Angeles County at the beginning of this year, according to results from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s 2015 homeless count.

Santa Monica Group Backs Lawmakers’ Letter Calling Out Oil Companies
May 12, 2015 -- Two California senators who convened a hearing last month on gasoline pricing have asked oil company executives to explain what’s fueling recent spikes at the pump.

Residocracy Still Considering Initiative Giving Residents Bigger Voice in Development Issues
May 11, 2015 -- Despite action by the Santa Monica City Council that would seem to heed its “Too Tall, Too Big, Too Much”  warning, the online-based advocacy group Residocracy is considering  taking the development issue to the public for a vote.

Lincoln Middle School Students Earn State's Top Achievement Award
May 11, 2015 -- Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica has earned the State Department of Education's Gold Ribbon Award, California's highest award for academic excellence, officials announced.

Santa Monica College Looks to Fill Vacancies on Oversight Committee
May 11, 2015 -- Santa Monica College is seeking volunteers for a citizens' watchdog committee that oversees the spending by the college of hundreds of millions of dollars in voter-approved taxes.

New Santa Monica Law to Prohibit Discrimination Against Section 8 Tenants
May 8, 2015 -- Reacting to reports of discrimination by Santa Monica landlords against Section 8 tenants, the City Council Tuesday gave the initial go-ahead to a new law that would ban such actions and impose severe court fines and other penalties against those found in violation of the new ordinance.

Santa Monica Water Use Up for Third Straight Month
May 8, 2015 -- New data from the state shows Santa Monicans' water use was up in March, and residents are still using much more water daily than what state regulators say is normal.

Santa Monica Lawmaker Seeks Tax on Sugary Drinks  
May 8, 2015 -- A bill by Santa Monica-area state Assemblyman Richard Bloom would raise $3 billion a year to fight diabetes and heart disease by putting a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugary beverages.

Santa Monica Council Moves to Prevent Taller Buildings on Two Boulevards
May 7, 2015 -- In a split vote, City Council members Tuesday approved eliminating the option of allowing taller buildings on Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, including projects that mix commercial space and housing.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Fundraising Still Short of Goal
May 7, 2015 -- Despite a big turnout for its premiere event at the Santa Monica Pier late last month, a foundation trying to raise $4 million for everything from literacy coaches to math, science and art classes for the Santa Monica- Malibu Unified District is still perilously short of reaching its goal.

Revelry Expected at Annual Santa Monica Festival
May 7, 2015 -- Music from around the world, dance workouts and activity sessions, farmers market cooking classes, a hands-on art zone, a cardboard playground -- officials are apparently trying to set a record for “fun had in a single day” at this year's Santa Monica Festival.

Attorney Says Claim Against Santa Monica Forthcoming In Clients Arrest
May 6, 2015 --  A Santa Monica man will file a claim against the City over his alleged rough treatment by local police during his arrest at a local park last month, his attorney said Tuesday.

Storm Triggers Huge Waves and Dangerous Conditions at Santa Monica Beaches
May 6, 2015 -- A recent storm off the coast of New Zealand  triggered huge waves across Southern California beaches, including some waves as  high as eight feet in the waters off Santa Monica. But local conditions were abating on Tuesday, officials said.

Santa Monica College Student Wins National Transfer Scholarship
May 6, 2015 -- When other boys his age were playing superheroes, Jonah Okike-Hephzibah dreamed of inventing things.

Santa Monica Seeks to Codify Ban on Income Discrimination
May 5, 2015 -- Despite a provision in state law that prohibits it, housing discrimination based on a potential renter's income continues to take place in Santa Monica, City officials said.

Santa Monica Puts Water Allowances on Hold
May 5, 2015 -- With new statewide emergency drought regulations not expected to be finalized until this week, Santa Monica is putting its much-anticipated water-use allowance program on hold, officials announced.

College Announces Tuition-Free Summer For High School Students
May 5, 2015 -- For the first time, high school students can enroll in summer classes at Santa Monica College for credit -- at no cost to them or the college district, officials said.

Gas Santa Monica Group Sees Manipulation in Recent Price Jump
May 4, 2015 -- Another one-week spike in gas prices has unleashed new charges by Consumer Watchdog that refineries secretly orchestrated the recent 28-cent increase.

Santa Monica’s High-Tech Traffic System Beats Incline Crush
May 4, 2015 -- From four large screens in front of a desk in a corner office at City Hall, Traffic Engineer Andrew Maximus commands a sweeping view of road conditions across busy Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Official Backs Legislation to Restore Revoked Drivers Licenses
May 4, 2015 -- As both a Santa Monica City Council member and an attorney for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, Sue Himmelrich is familiar with the problem:  A driver, usually one who is already financially struggling, gets a ticket for an infraction, such as driving without a license plate

Two Santa Monica Hospitals Get Top Marks in Patient Safety
May 1, 2015 -- Two hospitals in Santa Monica earned the top score Wednesday in a ranking of patient safety that also handed out C, D, and F grades to 40 percent of the nation’s hospitals.

Atheists Win Final Round In Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Battle
May 1, 2015 -- An annual homespun tradition of staging nativity scenes at Pacific Palisades Park -- born during the Eisenhower era and kept alive over the years by a coalition of local churches -- ended Thursday when the 9th District Court of Appeal upheld Santa Monica's ban on multiple-day displays at all City parks.

Santa Monica Appoints Interim Fire Chief
May 1, 2015 -- Dennis Downs, a retired fire chief with a career that has spanned more than  37 years has been appointed Interim Fire Chief for Santa Monica, City officials announced Thursday.

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