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

Santa Monica Council Sends Proposed Minimum Wage Law Back for Tweaking
September 30, 2015 -- After hearing from low-wage workers, union organizers, hotel and restaurant officials and others during a marathon public hearing over a proposed minimum wage ordinance, Santa Monica City Council members Tuesday night directed staff to re-write the proposal and return with a new draft ordinance.

Santa Monica’s Vidiots Emerges with New Programs, Broader Vision
September 30, 2015 -- Months after nearly becoming another victim of the Netflix era, Vidiots in Santa Monica is broadening its vision and picking up a renewed buzz in the film community, store officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica’s Worn-Out Big Blue Bus Fareboxes to Get Overhaul
September 30, 2015 -- The worn-out fareboxes on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Buses will get a major overhaul after the City Council approved a nearly $3.5 million contract Tuesday with an Illinois-based company.

Santa Monica Council Members Propose Outside Review of Hiring Controversy
September 29, 2015 -- Three members of the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday will propose an outside review of the hiring and abrupt firing of Elizabeth Riel as City communications director, a move that has been surrounded by controversy.

Santa Monica Arts Foundation Could Return to Its Roots
September 29, 2015 -- Hoping to one day double the amount raised for art in Santa Monica, City officials will likely return its Arts Foundation to its fundraising roots three decades ago.

Santa Monica Seeks Tech Proposals
September 29, 2015 -- Santa Monica City and Chamber of Commerce officials are seeking proposals for apps, software, technology, processes and tools to help improve how citizens of the beach city communicate and get around, officials announced Monday.

Unemployment Rate in Santa Monica below State, County
September 28, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent in August, down from 6.4 percent in July and 6.3 percent in both June and May, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Santa Monica to Reap $2 Million from 1994 Quake
September 28, 2015 -- Felt across three counties, the destructive power of the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake that struck at 4:30 a.m. on January 17, 1994, damaged or destroyed 114,000 buildings, including more than 500 in Santa Monica.

Nominations Open for Santa Monica Sustainable Awards
September 28, 2015 -- If you know a Santa Monica business that is going out of its way to be more sustainable, you can now nominate them for the 21st Annual Sustainable Quality Awards Program, City and business officials announced last week.

Council Will Consider $15 Minimum Wage for Santa Monica
September 25, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s lowest wage earners could soon get a raise. The City Council on Tuesday will consider a gradual minimum wage hike that calls for it to reach $15 in 2020.

Santa Monica Group Charges Exxon Thwarting Probe
September 25, 2015 -- ExxonMobile is muzzling a key witness to last February's explosion at its Torrance refinery, effectively “subverting” a state and federal investigation of the disaster that injured four workers, Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog charged this week.

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Launches Pledge Days
September 25, 2015 -- When you drop off or pick up your kid at school, make a pledge to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) and an anonymous donor will match your donation, the non-profit group announced this week.

Santa Monica’s California Incline One-Third Completed, Officials Say
September 24, 2015 -- Reconstruction of the iconic California Incline in Santa Monica reached a milestone this week with the completion of the first of three concrete pours on the bridge deck, City officials said.

New Santa Monica College Academy Preps Students for Success
September 24, 2015 -- More than 90 percent of incoming students who enrolled in Santa Monica College's first pre-college summer English program passed, improving their chances of grasping college-level English, officials said.

City of Santa Monica Highlights Art Collection
September 24, 2015 -- The City of Santa Monica is showcasing highlights from its extensive art collection in an exhibit that opens Friday at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

FAA Again Postpones Decision on Issue Relating to Santa Monica Airport Closure
September 23, 2015 -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday again informed the City that it has delayed a decision on a crucial issue involving Santa Monica’s ongoing battle to close its municipal airport, City officials said Tuesday.

Two Bills Sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblyman Signed into Law
September 23, 2015 -- Two bills authored by Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom -- one cracking down on “bandit” tow trucks, the other addressing bicycle safety – have been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Bloom’s office announced Tuesday.

New Principal Appointed for Santa Monica’s Muir Elementary
September 23, 2015 -- Paula Lytz, who has been serving as assistant principal at Lincoln Middle School will take over the reins at Muir Elementary, after the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board approved her appointment Thursday.

Santa Monica Slow Growth Group Half Way to Meeting E-petition Goal
September 22, 2015 -- Less than a week after posting an online petition calling for a slow-growth ballot initiative in Santa Monica, Residocracy is already half way to meeting its goal, one of its leaders said Monday.

Affordable Housing Shortage in Santa Monica Subject of Special Hearing
September 22, 2105 -- Trying to find housing in Santa Monica has become difficult for families making less than $75,000 a year, one of many challenging statistics that the City’s Housing Commission will grapple with Saturday.

Santa Monica College Dance Series Features Contemporary Styles
September 22, 2015 -- If you are an aspiring dancer, or simply a fan of contemporary dance, you might be moved to attend an eclectic series of free master classes and lectures at Santa Monica College starting next month.

Commission Delays Decision on former Santa Monica Mayor’s Home
September 21, 2015 -- The ongoing dispute about the remodeling of the rent-controlled home in Ocean Park occupied by former Santa Monica mayor Mike Feinstein will continue for at least a few more weeks.

New Report Says Santa Monica Seniors Can Expect to Live Longer Than County Peers
September 21, 2015 -- Santa Monica residents age 50 and older can expect to live to 85, more than five years longer than the average life span of 79 and a half in South Los Angeles, according to a new report on the county's aging population.

British National Debate Team Invades Santa Monica College
September 21, 2015 -- The British are coming -- to talk this time, not fight. Members of the English-Speaking Union’s 2015 British National Debate Team will square off against the Santa Monica College Debate Team in what will be SMC's first international debate tournament, college officials announced last week

Norms Replacement Project Gets Santa Monica Planning Commission Nod
September 18, 2015 -- Although some members called for changes to the proposal, the majority of the Santa Monica Planning Commission on Wednesday endorsed a 78,000-square-foot mixed-use proposal for the former Norms Restaurant site on Lincoln Boulevard off Colorado Avenue.

Santa Monica Alternative Vehicle Expo Features Test Drives
September 20, 2015 -- Any L.A. car commuter curious about the latest in hybrid alternatives will find a trip into Santa Monica this weekend well worth the drive.

Santa Monica College Staff Visits Turkey
September 18, 2015 -- After visiting a mosque during Ramadan, exploring the underground cities of Cappadocia or learning the traditional way to hammer a cymbal, Santa Monica College (SMC) staff members returned from Turkey this summer with a different perspective. 

Santa Monica Slow Growth Group Launches Petition Drive
September 17, 2017 -- An online slow-growth group on Wednesday posted a proposed initiative to require a public vote before Santa Monica development agreements can be approved.

Santa Monica Embarks on Final Esplanade Phase
September 17, 2015 -- A $13 million makeover of Colorado Avenue near Santa Monica’s final Light Rail stop is entering its final stage and should be completed by next April in time for the train’s arrival, City officials announced this month.

Santa Monica Library Holding Redesign Contest for Library Cards
September 17, 2015 -- The Santa Monica Public Library is celebrating its 125th birthday with a contest that invites some of its most faithful patrons – cardholders – to redesign its library card, officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Considers Gas Warning Labels
September 16, 2015 -- The City of Santa Monica is considering a plan to label gas station pumps in the city with warnings about climate change, a proposal similar to those being considered in San Francisco and Berkeley.

Raises Set for Workers at Pioneering Santa Monica Carwash
September 16, 2015 -- A Santa Monica carwash that was the first in the nation to be unionized has reached a one-year contract that includes raising wages for employees to meet the coming $10-an-hour state minimum wage, a representative for the business said Tuesday.

Santa Monica Library to Celebrate Sustainable Literature Prize
September 16, 2015 -- A father and daughter who are leading figures in the fields of education and sustainability will hold a conversation to celebrate the Santa Monica Public Library’s ninth annual Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.

Iconic Bookstore Closes Storied Chapter in Santa Monica
September 15, 2015 -- After half a century in Santa Monica, Hennessey + Ingalls Bookstore on Wilshire Boulevard is leaving the city and relocating to downtown Los Angeles, chased out by rising rents and declining sales in the internet age, a representative said.

Santa Monica Could Recover Some Redevelopment Funds, Local Assembly Member Says
September 15, 2015 -- An agreement between the California Legislature and the state Department of Finance could mean millions of dollars will be released to cities like Santa Monica that lost huge sums after the state abolished local redevelopment agencies, a local assembly member said.

Santa Monica College Celebrates Latino Heritage Month
September 15, 2015 -- Renown authors and poets will be featured as part of Santa Monica College's celebration of National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, college officials announced Monday.

Santa Monica and Malibu Students Exceeding New State Standards
September 14, 2015 -- More than 70 percent of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students are meeting California's tougher academic standards in math and English language arts and literacy, according to new state Department of Education data.

Santa Monica College Lectures Explore Global Economy, Science
September 14, 2015 -- Knowledge-hungry residents can hear experts discuss the latest twists in global markets, recent advances in medicine and new discoveries in oceanography at two public lecture series starting this month.

Santa Monica College, School District Boards to Hold Joint Meeting
September 14, 2015 -- For the first time in decades, the governing boards of Santa Monica College and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) will hold a special joint meeting this week.

Santa Monica Planning Commission to Take Up Norm’s Site, House Rented by Former Mayor
September 11, 2015 -- A mixed-use development proposed to replace the former Norm’s Restaurant in Santa Monica and an appeal from a former mayor on the approval for his landlord’s rehabilitation project are among the items on next week’s Planning Commission agenda. 

Prominent Santa Monica Attorney Sued by City
September 11, 2015 -- A prominent Santa Monica attorney who has skirmished with the City over landscaping on his Palisades Road property is being sued for allegedly landscaping and fencing Santa Monica Beach land.

Santa Monica Launches “Buy Local, Give Local Week”
September 11, 2015 -- Thirty one businesses across Santa Monica will take part in a campaign to help raise money for five local charities and non-profits during the annual Buy Local, Give Local week starting Saturday.

Santa Monica Council Updates 46-Year-Old Labor Relations Rules
September 10, 2015 -- Richard Nixon was the nation’s president when the City Council approved rules for relations between the City administration and its employee labor groups, and they have never changed since that 1969 adoption -- until this week.

District Attorney to Review Accusations against Santa Monica Councilmember, Coalition Officials Say
September 10, 2015 -- County prosecutors will review allegations that Councilmember Pam O’Connor waged a secret battle to fire a newly hired communications director who had opposed her candidacy nearly a decade earlier, a Santa Monica activist group said.Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that O’Connor “wanted to fire (Elizabeth) Riel.” In none of the emails obtained by SMCLC does O’Connor state that she wants Riel fired.

Water School, Penalties Threaten Santa Monica Water Wasters
September 10, 2015 -- Like traffic school for people caught violating the rules of the road, Santa Monica residents who fail to save water in the face of an unprecedented drought could be required to attend “Water School,” said the City's chief sustainability manager.

Council Approves Sweeping Reorganization of Santa Monica’s Public Communications Department
September 9, 2015 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a major restructuring of the City’s approach to public communications, adding five employees at a cost of $539,649 for the rest of this fiscal year and jumping to nearly $600,000 next July.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Array of Expenditures on Consent
September 9, 2015 -- Money for new breathing apparatus for firefighters, a new pool deck for the Swim Center and more than 3,700 new low-flush toilets for apartment buildings were among the consent calendar expenditures approved on Tuesday by the Santa Monica City Council.

New $55 Million “Innovation” Building to be Publicly Unveiled at Santa Monica High School
September 9, 2015 -- The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is publically unveiling its new $55 million, 97,000-square-foot Innovation Building at Santa Monica High School on Thursday.

Santa Monica Planning Commission Praises Lincoln Boulevard Plan
September 8, 2015 -- The Santa Monica Planning Commission’s review of the preliminary concept designs for the Lincoln Boulevard makeover was a mostly positive affair last Wednesday, with panelists and members of the public favoring what was put forward.

Santa Monica Police Seek $300,000 for Fingerprint Program
September 8, 2015 -- The days when fingerprinting suspects required messy ink and paper impressions of all four fingers and two thumbs are long gone.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill to Ban Microbeads Clears Legislature
September 8, 2015 -- Assembly member Richard Bloom's bill banning tiny plastic beads from use in personal care products could be on its way to the governor for approval within days, his office announced last week.

Santa Monica Ahead of L.A.'s New Bee-Keeping Law
September 4, 2015
-- Bee-keepers in L.A.'s neighborhoods are close to getting that city's green light to practice their hobby, but homeowners in Santa Monica have been raising bees in their backyards for years, and chickens and roosters, too.

Santa Monica College Foundation Awards Faculty Grants
September 4, 2015 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) professors received a total of more than $90,000 in grants from the Santa Monica College Foundation, SMC officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday
September 4, 2015 -- Santa Monica police are ushering in the long Labor Day weekend with a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location in the city this Friday from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m., police announced.

Lawsuit Accuses Popular Santa Monica Restaurants of Price Fixing
September 3, 2015 -- Two popular Santa Monica restaurants are named in a new lawsuit alleging they are part of cadre of Los Angeles area restaurants conspiring to illegally engage in price fixing to offset rising health care costs.

Governor Signs Santa Monica Assembly member’s Initiative Bill
September 3, 2015 -- With no fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Tuesday a bill co-authored by Santa Monica Assembly member Richard Bloom that raises the filing fee for State ballot initiatives from $200 to $2,000.

Santa Monica College Selected for Top NASA Grant
September 3, 2015 -- Santa Monica College was only one of four community colleges nationwide selected for a special NASA grant to expand training for professors in math and science-related fields, officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Mayor Wants Scrutiny of Council member's Role in Firing Controversy
September 2, 2015 -- The controversy surrounding Elizabeth Riel, the woman the City hired and fired last year allegedly because she was involved in an old political campaign against Santa Monica Council member Pam O’Connor, is ratcheting up a level.

Smaller Changes to Yield Welcome Results in New Big Blue Bus System, Santa Monica Officials Say
September 2, 2015 -- The coming of the Expo Light Rail to Santa Monica next year will bring a multitude of changes to the Big Blue Bus system, including more routes and higher fares to help offset higher costs. But riding the Big Blue Bus of the future could be different in other ways too.

Santa Monica College Kicks Off Fall Literary Series
September 2, 2015 -- Expect the unexpected when British author Geoff Dyer kicks off Santa Monica College’s Fall Literary Series with a reading from his works this month.

Santa Monica Activists Seek Probe of Councilmember’s Role in Employee Firing
September 1, 2015 -- A Santa Monica activist organization Monday asked for two separate investigations into its allegations that Councilmember Pam O’Connor illegally used her position to maneuver the abrupt firing last year of a communications director who had politically tangled with her eight years earlier.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Seeks Parents’ Critiques
September 1, 2015 -- Parents are being asked to critique the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in a survey posted Monday at the district’s website.

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park to Celebrate Nature, Aztec Culture
September 1, 2015 -- Two abiding legacies of the Santa Monica region – the Aztec legends from the south and the nature than surrounds the scenic beach city – will be celebrated this month at two events in Tongva Park.

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