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The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- April 2017

Santa Monica-Malibu Officials ‘Hopeful’ Norovirus Eradicated from Schools
April 17, 2017 -- With students returning to classes Monday after a two-week break, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) says it is “hopeful” the norovirus outbreak that has been plaguing local campuses since February has been eliminated.

Santa Monica Senator’s Bill Would Ban Many Plastic Food Containers
April 17, 2017 -- A bill introduced in February by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) would prohibit businesses from serving prepared food in plastic containers that can’t be recycled locally.

Santa Monica College Student Film to Screen at Cannes
April 17, 2017 -- A short film written and directed by Santa Monica College student Carrie Finklea will be screened during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France next month, college officials announced Friday.

County Board Supports Santa Monica Representative's ‘Sensitive Locations Policy’ for Immigrants
April 14, 2017 -- Sheila Kuehl, the Santa Monica resident who represents the city and the surrounding area on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, wants to limit the federal government’s ability to investigate immigration matters and enforce related laws.

Santa Monica High School Graduation Rate Sees Small Slide
April 14, 2017 -- A smaller percentage of Santa Monica High School students graduated with their class in 2016 than did the previous year, according to statistics released this week by the California Department of Education.

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Debuts 'Shark Frenzy' Ride
April 14, 2014 -- Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday officially launched the world's first shark-themed Tilt-a-Whirl ride, the amusement park's officials announced.

Santa Monica Downtown Plan Seeks to Strike a Compromise, Officials Say, But Some Remain Skeptical
April 13, 2017
-- How do you find common ground between developers proposing 20-plus-story high-rises and slow-growth activists who want most buildings in Santa Monica's downtown to be no more than two stories tall?

City Council to Consider Changes to Santa Monica's Lobbying Regulations
April 13, 2017 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider amending its regulations for lobbyists to clarify which City officials are covered by the ordinance approved last year and tweak some of the registration and reporting requirements for lobbyists.

Santa Monica Set to Purchase New Fleet of 'Firefly' Maintenance Vehicles
April 13, 2017 -- A new fleet of three-wheeled electric utility vehicles called "Firefly" could soon be used to help clean Santa Monica's Promenade and parks if the City Council approves the nearly $850,000 purchase at its meeting Tuesday.

Santa Monica Review' Releases Spring Issue This Month
April 13, 2017 -- A launch party for the Spring 2017 issue of "Santa Monica Review" -- the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college -- will be held this month, college officials announced this week.

Fourth Santa Monica Teenager Dead Since October
April 12, 2017
-- A 17-year-old-girl whose body was found on the banks of the Los Angeles River in Long Beach Thursday has been identified as a Santa Monica resident who attended a local school, marking the fourth teenager from the beach city to die in the past six months.

Eleven Santa Monica Businesses Win Sustainable Quality Awards
April 12, 2017 -- A seafood restaurant on the pier, a manufacturer of digital audio interfaces, a designer of pre-fab homes and a high-end shopping mall are the winners of Santa Monica's 2017 Sustainable Quality Award Grand Prizes, award officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Pier Dance Festival Could Become Annual Event
April 12, 2017
-- Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) -- the Santa Monica-based dance troupe that is creating a buzz in urban dance circles -- has helped organize a free two-night dance festival at the Pier that sponsors hope will become an annual event.

New Santa Monica Airport Fuel Provider to Take Over Sunday
April 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica Airport (SMO) will have a new self-service fuel provider starting Easter Sunday after the unexpected departure of American Flyers, which has been a longtime fixture at the airport.

Santa Monica Commercial Property Prices Hit Record Highs
April 11, 2017 -- Douglas Emmett's recent $287 million contract to purchase an 11-story building in Downtown Santa Monica highlights a heated real estate market that may be reaching its peak, real estate experts said.

City Seeks Input for Santa Monica Beach Trail Improvements
April 11, 2017 -- Those wishing to weigh in on the long-awaited project to improve walking and biking along Santa Monica Beach have ten days to participate in an online survey.

Next School Board Meeting Could Determine Path Toward Santa Monica-Malibu Split
April 10, 2017 -- There is only one meeting of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) board this month, but that lone session is a big one. The hot topic of school district separation is on the April 20 agenda.

Santa Monica City Manager Praises Changed Coastal Commission
April 10, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole applauded what he called the “dynamic and positive new tone” coming from the California Coastal Commission in a blog entry recently posted on the City’s website.

Santa Monica College to Stage Rare Performance of Coward Play
April 10, 2017 -- When Noel Coward wrote his play "Semi-Monde" in 1926, he knew it would be censored. What he couldn't have guessed was that the play--which will see a rare staging at Santa Monica College this month--would see only a handful of productions over the next 90 years.

Santa Monica Senator’s Petition Disclosure Bill Passes Committee
April 7, 2017 -- A bill written and introduced by Santa Monica State Sen. Ben Allen that would require initiative petition signature gatherers to disclose their top funders was approved by one committee this week and has been sent to another for further review.

Assembly Passes Santa Monica Lawmaker’s Dinosaur Bill
April 7, 2017 -- One giant step for extinct species was taken Thursday when the State Assembly approved a bill introduced by Rep. Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) to make California’s official dinosaur the duck-billed Augustynolophus morissi.

Annenberg's Fabled Sunnylands Estate Topic of Talk at Santa Monica LibraryApril 7, 2017 -- Sunnylands, the fabled winter home built by Walter and Leonore Annenberg, whose foundation helped salvage what would become Santa Monica's public beach house, will be the subject of a talk at the Main Library this month.

Final Draft of Santa Monica Downtown Plan to Be Released Next Week
April 6, 2017 -- After more than six years in the planning, the final version of a blueprint for future development in downtown Santa Monica will be released next week, addressing contentious issues over the heights and sizes of new buildings.

Santa Monica College Receives Innovation Award
April 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica College will develop innovative technology tools that will help boost student completion rates and reduce costs thanks to a $2 million Award for Innovation in Higher Education, school officials announced Wednesday.

Higher Sales Taxes Start Kicking in for Santa Monica
April 6, 2017 -- A higher new sales tax arrived in Santa Monica Sunday, translating into a penny for every dollar spent on purchases to support local affordable housing and education, with another hike looming this summer.

City Child-Care Subsidies for Needy in Santa Monica Fall Short
April 5, 2017 -- Demand for City-funded subsidies to help pay for child care has jumped more than 50 percent in the last fiscal year, far exceeding the $867,500 earmarked to help financially-pressed Santa Monica families, according to a report released Tuesday.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus to Launch App for Passes
April 5, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s municipal bus system hopes to launch a smartphone app soon that allows customers to purchase bus passes, a move meant to buoy flagging ridership.

Santa Monica College Lecture Series Shares Latest Scientific Research
April 5, 2017
-- Epigenetics, coral reefs and catastrophic natural events will be the topics of Santa Monica College's ongoing Spring 2017 Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series, school officials announced this week.

“Parklets” to Debut in Santa Monica
April 4, 2017 -- In park-starved Santa Monica, an experiment will soon test whether the populace can find the soothing power of open space in tiny spots once meant for cars.

Pedestrian Killed Crossing Santa Monica Boulevard
April 4, 2017 -- A woman crossing Santa Monica Boulevard early Monday morning became the fifth pedestrian fatality in Santa Monica this year.

Seat on Santa Monica Planning Commission Could Be Up for Grabs
April 4, 2017 -- Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Amy Nancy Anderson’s term of office ends in June, potentially spurring a race for the City’s most powerful board.

Santa Monica’s Noise Ordinance Altered to Accommodate Free Speech Concerns
April 3, 2017 -- Loud protests outside the Shore Hotel can continue starting as early as 7 a.m. without fear of police interference following the Santa Monica City Council’s passage of an amendment to the noise ordinance last Tuesday.

PETA Gives Kudos (and Vegan Cookies) to Santa Monica Fire Department for Dramatic Dog Rescue
April 3, 2017 -- The top local feel-good story of the year so far was extended this past week when the radical animal rights group PETA recognized Santa Monica firefighters with the Compassionate Fire Department Award.

Santa Monica Author Unveils Government ESP Probes
April 3, 2017 -- For four decades, the U.S. government has been secretly investigating extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. On Monday night, April 3, investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen will tell the story of "these radical, controversial programs" during a presentation at the Santa Monica Public Library at 7 p.m.

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