archiveSanta Monica Lookout
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- April 2016

Council Makes Tweaks to Santa Monica Minimum Wage Law
April 29, 2016 -- Three months after adopting an ordinance requiring most people working in Santa Monica to be paid at least $15 per hour by 2020, the City Council voted for amendments on Tuesday to tweak the law.

Santa Monica Has Little to Celebrate on Independent Bookstore Day
April 29, 2016 -- Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day across the country, but the closest celebration you'll find to Santa Monica will be technically across the border in Brentwood.

Police Release Images of Possible Intruder
April 29, 2016 -- A week after an intruder assaulted an elderly Santa Monica woman in her bedroom and broke into a guest home blocks away on the same night, police released a video and a description of a person of interest in the case.

Santa Monica Council Member Criticized by Colleagues
April 28, 2016 -- Santa Monica City Councilmember Pam O’Connor was criticized Tuesday by Council colleagues, who said a new outside ethics review showed she misled them about her role in the controversial 2014 firing of a City communications director she deemed a political foe.

Aviation School Leaving Santa Monica Airport
April 28, 2016 -- After more than two decades at Santa Monica Airport (SMO), the flight school Justice Aviation, which offers additional services, is expected to close by May 11 as part of an agreement with the City to settle several legal disputes.

Santa Monica State Senator's Bill Wins Committee Approval
April 28, 2016 -- A bill urging Congress to counter a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited sums on elections won committee approval Tuesday, state officials said.

City of Santa Monica Reorganizes to Help Create New Transportation Model
April 27, 2016 -- Intensifying its efforts to make Santa Monica a new model for transportation the City Council on Tuesday voted to reorganize the City's Department of Planning and Community Development to better focus on making the beach city more conducive to walking and less reliant on the car.

Santa Monica, Malibu Separation Talks to Resume
April 27, 2016 -- Stalled talks regarding the separation of Malibu from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will soon resume following the replacement of a member who angrily resigned from the negotiating team a week ago, a key official said Tuesday.

Santa Monica College Student Film Headed to Cannes
April 27, 2016 -- A short film written and directed by a Santa Monica College student will be screened at the 19th American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, school officials announced Tuesday.

Nearly a Quarter of All Low-Income HUD Housing in Santa Monica at Risk
April 26, 2016 -- Nearly a quarter of all low-income HUD rental buildings in Santa Monica will be at risk in the near future, as federal loans come due and owners decide whether to continue current operations or move to sharply higher market rates, according to a new City report.

Santa Monica, Malibu Public High Schools Ranked Among Best in State
April 26, 2016 -- Santa Monica High School and Malibu High School scored high grades among California public high schools in a new ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

Santa Monica to Host Repair Cafe
April 26, 2016 -- Think before you recycle. It may not be the best thing to do.

Commission Denies, Then Approves Santa Monica Post Office Conversion
April 25, 2016 -- With the Santa Monica Planning Commission unable to break a 3-3 deadlock (a technical denial) on a proposal to convert the historic downtown post office into a private business office, it appeared owner Skydance Media would have to take its case to the City Council on appeal.

Santa Monica Hires New Fire Chief
April 25, 2016 -- A career firefighter who literally climbed the ladder from rookie to chief will take over as head of the Santa Monica Fire Department next week, City Manager Rick Cole has announced.

Santa Monica College Announces Spring Concert Lineup
April 25, 2016 -- Santa Monica College will host a spring concert series featuring nine performances of jazz, classical and popular music starting in May.

Performances by SMC's music department will be held at the Broad Stage and at The Edye at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1301 11th Street, at Santa Monica Boulevard.

Santa Monica to Fund Outreach Street Team for the Homeless
April 22, 2016 -- Santa Monica is ready to invest at least $775,000 and as much as $1 million to augment local homelessness services, including hiring a local nonprofit to deliver medical and mental health services directly to people living in the streets.

Clinton Keeps Large Fundraising Lead in Santa Monica
April 22, 2016 -- The Democratic Primary in the presidential election might be too close for comfort for Hillary Clinton and her supporters, but it is far from close when it comes to how much money has been raised in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Exhibit Explores the Natural and Mechanical
April 22, 2016 -- The micro and macro, natural processes and mechanical devices are the subjects of a digital photo exhibit opening at the Annenberg Community Beach House Gallery in Santa Monica next week.

Santa Monica Council to Consider Tougher Anti-Corruption Law
April 21, 2016 -- After an independent ethics investigation found lapses in judgment at City Hall, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday will consider recommendations for strengthening its anti-corruption law, including taking the issue to voters.

Santa Monica to Consider Nearly $1 Million Contract for DNA Specialist
April 21, 2016 -- Saddled with a backlog of DNA-related evidence, the City of Santa Monica is considering a nearly $1 million contract over five years to hire a DNA specialist, officials said.

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheels to Go Green
April 21, 2016 -- Pacific Park's Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier was the first in the world to be solar powered. On Friday, the park will celebrate Earth Day by having the wheel literally go green from sunset o midnight, park officials said.

Santa Monica Ethics Review Finds Lapses in Judgment
April 20, 2016 -- An independent ethics investigation into the Santa Monica City Council and City officials has found lapses in judgment that had “cascading consequences,” including threatening emails by Council Member Pam O’Connor that were not “mindful” of the City’s anti-corruption law.

Santa Monica-Malibu Schools Get Failing Grades in Closing Achievement Gap
April 20, 2016 -- After more than two decades, Santa Monica-Malibu public schools have failed every effort to help disadvantaged students, leaving more than a third of them still grasping to close the achievement gap in test scores and other measures of success, a UCLA expert has found.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Offers Star Guide
April 20, 2016 --
Santa Monica is home to plenty of Hollywood stars. But if you’re willing to gaze into the night skies, instead of at the city’s celebrity-studded sidewalks, Santa Monica College’s planetarium can guide you to the best star parties in town for the summer.

Key Negotiator in Talks for Malibu Schools Separation from SMMUSD Resigns
April 19, 2016 -- A negotiator in Malibu’s fight to break from the Santa Monica-Malibu School District resigned Monday from his seat on the panel overseeing the split, saying he is suffering retaliation for filing a Voting Rights Act lawsuit that could impact both the City of Santa Monica and its public school district.

Santa Monica Congressman's New Bill Targets "Superbug" Outbreaks
April 19, 2016 -- Santa Monica's congressional representative introduced two bills in the House aimed at protecting patients from “superbug” infections caused by unclean medical devices, after a new government report said gaps in federal law contributed to the problem.

Leading Cuban Percussionist to Play Santa Monica Venue
April 19, 2016 -- In Cuba, Afro-Cuban drumming is not only a key feature the island's influential dance music, it's an intricate part of its religious rituals.

Former Santa Monica Murder Suspect Faces Fraud Charges
April 18, 2016 -- A woman who was a prime suspect in the still-unsolved 2008 murder of an aspiring model in Santa Monica is due in court in Los Angeles on Tuesday on charges she took part in a multi-million-dollar medical scam that left at least 21 patients permanently scared.

Lawsuit Pauses Santa Monica Malibu School District Split Talks
April 18, 2016 -- In the wake of a lawsuit that could impact how the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District elects board members, three members of a special committee negotiating the terms for split of the SMMUSD into two districts are asking that the process be put off until they get direction from the School Board.

Relocated Santa Monica Tenants Getting More Help
April 18, 2016 -- A new position in the Santa Monica government is expected to serve the role of prime contact and facilitator for renters forced to leave their residences temporarily or permanently for reasons outside their control.

New Rules Could Come for Fitness Groups in Santa Monica
April 15, 2016 -- Santa Monica officials will be taking another look at regulations on for-profit fitness groups operating in public spaces, including near the Fourth Street steps.

Santa Monica Wins Court Action Against Energy Drink Maker
April 15, 2016 -- A City complaint against a Santa Monica-based maker of energy drinks that promise improved memory and brain function ended in a $500,000 penalty against the company and a court order to quit advertising such claims, City officials said Thursday.

Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood to Get Upgraded Crosswalks
April 15, 2016 -- Students walking to and from the Edison Language Academy in Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood will have safer routes after the City Council this week approved funding to design new crosswalks and upgrades for the area.

City Could Sell Santa Monica Trailer Park
April 14, 2016 -- Nearly 16 years after the Santa Monica government purchased the Mountain View Mobile Home Park to settle a legal dispute, the City is looking for a new buyer of the 4.8-acre property with 105 rent-controlled lots.

LA Area Rental Prices to Continue Soaring, Report Predicts
April 14, 2016 -- Santa Monica is already part of the most expensive rental market in the country, and rents are expected to continue rising in the Los Angeles area through 2018, according to two studies released this week.

Santa Monica Hot Dog Stand to Hold Fundraiser
April 14, 2016 -- Santa Monica's iconic Hot Dog on a Stick will celebrate its 70th anniversary at the original site of Muscle Beach with a lemonade stomp-a-thon to raise funds to fight cancer, company officials announced this week.

Free Speech and Noise Regulation Collide in Santa Monica
April 13, 2016 -- Against the advice of City staff and at the urging of the hotel workers' union, several council members want Santa Monica’s noise ordinance amended to protect protest speech in commercial areas.

Santa Monica Facing Lawsuit Over At-Large Council Elections
April 13, 2016 -- A group of residents of Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood sued the City on Tuesday, claiming its at-large elections system intentionally stymies candidates from the community from winning representation on the five-member City Council.

Last Chance to Catch Robert Frank Exhibit in Santa Monica
April 13, 2016 -- If ever an artist was befitting of a "pop-up" exhibition, it would be photographer Robert Frank, whose spontaneous, shoot-from-the-hip style produced some of America's most iconic images.

Wide Gender Gap in Pay for Women in Santa Monica District
April 12, 2016 -- Women who work and live in the congressional district that includes Santa Monica experience the second-worst gender gaps in pay in the state, a new analysis of gender income disparities shows.

Santa Monica Group Backs Needle Disposal Plan
April 12, 2016 -- Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental advocacy organization, says a Los Angeles County proposal requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay for a disposal program for medications and syringes (also known as “sharps”) would clear the beaches of needles.

Santa Monica's Broad Stage Steps Outside the Box
April 12, 2016 -- You could say Percossa likes to think outside the box when it comes to percussion. So does Circa when it comes to the circus.

Planning Commission Approves Complicated Arrangement for New Santa Monica Fire Station
April 11, 2016 -- A new Downtown Santa Monica fire station got the go-ahead from the Planning Commission on Wednesday, but building that facility in a timely manner could depend on the fate of a mixed-use development proposed for Lincoln Boulevard.

Santa Monica Officials Release Details of Expo Festivities
April 11, 2016 -- Santa Monica invested nearly $1 million to roll out the welcome wagon for Metro's Expo Light Rail trains from Los Angeles, now City officials are sharing some of their plans for opening day.

Santa Monica Library Event Explores the Mystery of Marie
April 11, 2016 -- Little is known about Marie. The three photographs that exist, all taken in profile, shows a Parisian woman with an upturned nose and protruding upper lip wearing peasant garb in an unkempt garden.

Commissioners Tackle Downtown Santa Monica Parking Puzzle
April 8, 2016 -- Potential changes to parking prices in Downtown Santa Monica was an agenda topic at Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting, but the actual discussion turned to larger ideas about solving issues involving parking, traffic and the best way to attract people to the area.

Santa Monica Set to Spend 1 million on New EV Vehicles
April 8, 2016 -- Santa Monica is considering purchasing a fleet of new three-wheeled, all electric vehicles for use by City parking enforcement officers, at a cost of just over $1 million.

Santa Monica Tongva Park Kicks off After Dark Series this Month
April 8, 2016 -- Tongva Park will be converted into an inflatable living room for dancers as Santa Monica kicks off its third season of "Tongva After Dark" events this month, City officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Group Extends Petition Deadline
April 7, 2016 -- Conceding its first signature drive ended in failure, the group behind a proposed slow-growth ballot initiative for Santa Monica is adding another three weeks to circulate petitions, its leader said Wednesday.

Co-Sponsor of Pro Israel Bill Criticizes Bloom's Move
April 7, 2016 -- The Republican legislator who co-sponsored a bill with Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom criticized his colleague for drafting his own bill to counter a boycott against Israel.

No ID on Man Killed in Downtown Santa Monica
April 7, 2016 -- Coroner's officials Thursday said they have not been able to identify the victim of a fatal stabbing Tuesday that marked Santa Monica's first homicide of the year.

Group Recommends Tweaks to Santa Monica Minimum Wage Law
April 6, 2016 -- Hotel employees in Santa Monica’s busy tourism industry should receive higher wages that match those for their Los Angeles counterparts, according to recommendations meant to clarify the City’s new minimum wage law.

Court Rules Employers Must Provide Workers with a Seat
April 6, 2016 -- Workers across Santa Monica and the state will soon be allowed to take a load off their feet while on duty after a California Supreme Court ruling Monday.

Santa Monica Broad Stage Announces New Season, Departure of Artistic Leader
April 6, 2016 -- Less than a year after arriving, the artistic leader of The Broad Stage at Santa Monica College is leaving for New York in an exit that was acknowledged as the company’s new season was unveiled Tuesday.

Santa Monica Assemblyman Proposes Own Bill Against Anti-Israel Boycott
April 5, 2016 -- Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, said Monday that he is authoring a new bill that would prohibit any public agency in California from doing business with companies involved in a controversial boycott of Israel, calling the boycott “arbitrary and discriminatory.”

Santa Monica Enforces Alcohol Laws while Making Liquor Plentiful
April 4, 2016 -- When more than 100 alcohol purveyors attend a training session this week to help curb sales to minors and obviously intoxicated people, it will be only the latest volley in Santa Monica's ongoing battle against the bottle.

Santa Monica Meets Required Cut in Water Usage
April 5, 2016 -- The newest state “report card” on water savings in drought-plagued California showed Monday that Santa Monica reached its target of cutting use by at least 20 percent, although the state overall narrowly missed its total conservation goal.

Santa Monica Reads Ends with Post Apocalyptic Hope
April 5, 2016 -- A month of post-apocalyptic literary events at the Santa Monica Library will end next week with a presentation by the author of "Station Eleven," the book chosen for the 2016 Santa Monica READS program.

Downtown Santa Monica Parking Rates Could Rise
April 4, 2016 -- The Planning Commission this week will discuss the first parking rate increase for Downtown Santa Monica since 2012.

Three Beckett Plays to be Performed at Santa Monica College's Broad Stage
April 4, 2016 -- A critic once famously said that "nothing happens twice" in Samuel Beckett's early masterpiece for the stage "Waiting for Godot."

Santa Monica College to Host Panel on Roots of Violence
April 1, 2016 -- The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute will host a panel discussion this month on an age-old debate -- are violent individuals shaped by their genes or their environment?

Harris Leads Senate Candidates in Santa Monica Fundraising
April 1, 2016 -- State Attorney General Kamala Harris has raised far more money than any other candidate in California's U.S. Senate race, both statewide and in Santa Monica.

Teenager Swept Under Waves at Santa Monica Pier Was LAUSD Student
April 1, 2016 -- Authorities on Thursday identified a teenager who was caught in roiling currents Saturday after wading just a few feet into the ocean near Santa Monica Pier as a student who attended a medical magnet school in Boyle Heights.

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