Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

"Among Us" Promises In-Depth View of Daily Life in Santa Monica
October 31, 2017 -- It sounds like the title of a sci-fi movie and promises to "reveal what may lie beneath the surface of daily life" in Santa Monica. Part of Art @ Tongva, the audio-theater experience "Among Us" takes place this Saturday and Sunday.

Santa Monica College Launches Model Intellectual Property Program
October 30, 2017 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has developed an intellectual property curriculum that has been introduced at the school this fall and at five other community colleges across the country, college officials announced last week.

Santa Monica High School Students Query Astronauts in Earth-to-Space Skype Session
October 30, 2017 -- In a first, Santa Monica students queried two astronauts on the International Space Station via Skype Monday, learning about the rigors of daily life there, walking in space and what the craft smells like, which is either mushroom soup or something metallic.

Santa Monica Number One in Property Crime Among California Cities of Similar Size
October 30, 2017 -- Santa Monica continued a trend last year that left California cities with similarly sized populations far behind: It ranked number one in property crime. Santa Monica -- with 43 property crimes per 1,000 residents -- also had a higher property crime rate than similar Southern California city's it often uses for comparisons.

Don Bachardy's Portraits of Women on Exhibit at Santa Monica College Gallery
October 30, 2017 -- Artist Don Bachardy's portraits of women will be on display starting Tuesday at at the Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery on the Santa Monica College Madison campus.

Santa Monica Students to Communicate with Space Station Monday
October 27, 2017 -- "Station, this is Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica California, how do you hear me?" "I hear you loud and clear, welcome aboard the International Space Station." Those, or similar words, will be uttered live at 10:50 a.m. on Monday, when more than a dozen STEM students from the high school will engage in a 20-minute Earth-to-space call.

Santa Monica Council Asks for Extension of Ballona Wetlands Environmental Review
October 27, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday joined other local officials in asking for more time for public review of an 8,000-page report on the environmental impact of a major restoration of the Westside’s Ballona Wetlands.

LETTERS: Santa Monica Public Works Just Another Concession Auctioned off to Corporations
October 27, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica has some lousy strategies when it comes to leasing City owned properties and supposed concerns about labor ("Santa Monica Restaurateurs Protest 'Labor-Peace' Agreements," October 26, 2017).

Santa Monica Residents Get Chance Saturday to Rid Homes of Unwanted Prescription Drugs
October 27, 2017 -- Santa Monica residents have a chance Saturday to dispose of "expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility, Santa Monica police announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Restaurateurs Protest 'Labor-Peace' Agreements
October 26, 2017 -- Some of Santa Monica’s most popular eateries, including the Spitfire Grill and Ye Old Kings Head British Pub, on Tuesday said “labor-peace agreements” proposed for City tenants like them would drive out small local restaurants, eroding the city’s iconic charm.

American Film Market Returns to Santa Monica
October 26, 217 -- For the 27th year in a row, Santa Monica will host the world’s largest motion picture trade show when the American Film Market (AFM) hits town next Wednesday. Local tourism officials estimate the trade show and conference will generate $20 million during its eight-day stay.

Santa Monica City Hall Exhibit Shines Light on Domestic Violence
October 26, 2017 -- A walk through the lobby of Santa Monica City Hall this month will bring home a problem “as searing as it is common,” says City Manager Rick Cole. Often unreported and, as a result, hard to prosecute, domestic violence is a reality for one in three women in California, according the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Swedish Silent Horror Film to Screen with Live Music in Santa Monica Thursday
October 25, 2017 -- Victor Sjöström's 1921 silent horror film "The Phantom Carriage" has had a profound impact on movies, inspiring classic scenes and characters in such films as "The Shining" and "The Seventh Seal." The film will be screened in Santa Monica Thursday evening accompanied by a live musical score.

Triple-Digit Heat Wave Hits Santa Monica
October 25, 2017 -- Santa Monica sizzled in triple-digit heat Tuesday as, in a rarity, the beach city felt the pain inland communities have suffered time and again this year from record-breaking heat waves.

Jet Operations and Related Noise Violations Rise at Santa Monica Airport
October 24, 2017 -- While the total number of flights at Santa Monica airport has dropped dramatically in the past year, jet traffic is at a ten-year high, according to data presented to the Airport Commission Monday night.

Condo Proposed to Replace 1946 Santa Monica Home
October 24, 2017 -- Two condominiums of up to two stories on what was the site of a 1946 single-family home in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood go to the City’s Planning Commission in a special session November 1.

Santa Monica College's Synapse Dance Theater to Perform New Works
October 24, 2017 -- Santa Monica College's Synapse Dance Theater will perform new works next month by professional guest artists, award-winning faculty artists and "up-and-coming" student choreographers, college official announced this week. The performances will take place November 4 and 5.

California Supreme Court Denies Santa Monica Request to Toss Voting Rights Lawsuit
October 23, 2017 -- The California Supreme Court last week denied an appeal by the City of Santa Monica to review the Voting Rights lawsuit filed against it, upholding a lower court ruling that allows the litigation to proceed to trial.

Snow in the Forecast for Santa Monica
October 23, 2017 -- Brutal heat wave aside, “winter is coming,” Downtown officials say as they put the final, chilly touches on the 11th annual “Ice at Santa Monica,” a popular holiday ice rink downtown set to open November 1.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Marks 50th Anniversary of Apollo 4 Mission
October 23, 2017 -- The famous "giant step for mankind" would be taken nearly two years later, but the successful launch of Apollo 4 in November 1967 was a major step towards landing the first man on the moon. Next month, the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will revisit the the mission.

Santa Monica City Council Set to Approve More Six-Figure Salaries
October 20, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council is set to approve a slew of new white-collar employee salaries, all but a few close to, or comfortably in, six-figure earnings brackets. In all, 21 positions are included in the new classifications and salary rates.

Four Santa Monica Landmarks Slated for Conservation Contracts
October 20, 2017 -- From a turn-of-the-century home gazing at the Pacific from Palisades Park to one of the first Postmodern high-tech designs in Santa Monica, four local landmarks are likely to get preservation contracts with the City.

Santa Monica's Early History Subject of Saturday Talk
October 20, 2017 -- On July 15, 1875 Colonel Robert Symington Baker and Senator John Percival Jones held a land auction that paved the way for the establishment of the City of Santa Monica.

Santa Monica City Councilmember Ordered Back to Deposition in Voting Rights Lawsuit
October 19, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Councilmember Pam O’Connor has been ordered back to a deposition after she walked out of questioning in a lawsuit alleging the City is violating the California Voting Rights Act by diluting the representation of the city’s Hispanic population.

Shortening of Santa Monica Airport Runway to Start Monday
October 19, 2017 -- Readjusting after an 11th-hour court order abruptly halted its plans, the City of Santa Monica said work to shorten the runway at Santa Monica Airport will now begin Monday instead of its prior start date of Wednesday.

Santa Monica's Jacaranda Music Series Kicks Off with Harrison, Glass Compositions
October 19, 2017 -- Santa Monica's adventurous Jacaranda music series kicks of Saturday with a concert featuring microtonal works by modern masters of unusual tuning Lou Harrisaon and Ben Johnston.

EXTRA Witnesses Followed Driver Who Left Scene of Fatal Collision in Santa Monica
October 18, 2017 -- The driver who struck and killed a bicyclist on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Santa Monica on Sunday returned to the scene after being chased by three witnesses, but police have not been able to interview the young men, The Lookout has learned.

Santa Monica Airport Cleared for Runway Reduction
October 18, 2017 -- Work on reducing the Santa Monica Airport’s runway, an interim step on the path to eventually close SMO altogether, is slated to begin today following the all-clear from a judge who earlier granted a temporary restraining order.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Recycling Bill Signed into Law
October 18, 2017 -- A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that is expected to improve the efficiency of recycling programs was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown this weekend.

Santa Monica Police Looking for Witnesses in Fatal Crash Involving Bicyclist
October 17, 2017 -- Police are looking for witnesses in a crash that killed a bicyclist riding along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Santa Monica Sunday evening. The collision took place at around 7 p.m. at the 200 block of PCH, marking the second fatal crash involving a bicyclist near that location since 2012.

City of Santa Monica Considers Using Grant Funds for Homeless Apartments in Venice
October 17, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica is considering the one-time use of up to $500,000 in federal block-grant funds for an affordable apartment project in Venice for the homeless, according to a report from the City's housing manager.

Special Olympics Honors Santa Monica Pier's Pacific Park CEO
October 17, 2017 -- Pacific Park CEO Mary Ann Powell, who first invited the Special Olympics to the amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier 20 years ago, was honored earlier this month for her continuing commitment by the organization.

California Coastal Commission Approves Santa Monica Civic Center Projects
October 16, 2017 -- The California Coastal Commission last week signed off on two major public projects that will further transform Santa Monica's Civic Center. The projects will not hurt access to the beach, the commission decided.

Santa Monica’s Palisades Park to Get Fungus-Resistant Palms
October 16, 2017 -- The City Council last week moved forward with a plan to replace more than 50 diseased palm trees removed from Santa Monica’s historic Palisades Park. The work to replace the Canary Island date palms in the park’s iconic “colonnade” along Ocean Avenue will begin next spring, City officials said.

Santa Monica's John Wayne Cancer Institute to Honor Doctor, Survivor Activist
October 16, 2017 -- A Santa Monica doctor and author who specializes in women's health and an activist who has used social media to empower breast cancer survivors will receive annual awards from The John Wayne Cancer Institute this month.

Santa Monica Rent Board Weighs Hikes for Earthquake Retrofits
October 13, 2017 -- Tenants and apartment owners wrestled Thursday over the possibility of allowing Santa Monica landlords to raise rents to help pay the cost of mandatory seismic retrofitting, including nearly 1,300 multi-family buildings under rent control.

Union Workers Picket Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica
October 13, 2017 -- Union workers at Saint John's Medical Center, who are in the midst of negotiating an agreement, picketed Wednesday to protest what they claim is understaffing at Santa Monica's 75-year-old hospital.

Kesey Classic Gets Staged Reading at Santa Monica's Broad Stage
October 13, 2017 -- When Ken Kesey's first novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was published in 1962, it was hailed as an instant classic -- "boisterous," "nightmarish" and "glowing." On Monday, Kesey's award-winning book will return to The Broad Stage in Santa Monica in a dress rehearsal/staged reading.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Law Allowing Medicinal “Pot Shops”
October 12, 2017 – Decades after California began allowing medicinal “pot shops,” the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved a law allowing no more two permits for two such retailers within city borders.

Santa Monica Bus System to Reduce Stored Value of TAP Trips in Shift from Cash Fares
October 12, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system will reduce the stored value of TAP cards from the current $1.25 a trip to $1.10 in an ongoing effort to shift away from the popular but too time-consuming use of cash by riders.

Santa Monica Libraries to Celebrate "Indie Author Day"
October 12, 2017 -- Santa Monica will join communities around the world this Saturday to celebrate Indie Author Day 2017, which showcases local independent authors. Santa Monica's main library and its four neighborhood branches will hold events throughout the day that feature readings and discussions.

EXTRA Most Minority Disadvantaged Students in Santa Monica Malibu Public Schools Fail State Test
October 11, 2017 -- Although scores improved overall, as many as three in five “disadvantaged” minority students in Santa Monica-Malibu public schools failed to meet standards in the newest round of state testing, California Department of Education data show.

City Moves to Repair Widespread Leaking at Santa Monica Airport
October 11, 2017 -- Just when it seemed like the long-embattled Santa Monica Airport couldn’t add to its list of woes, a new headache is springing to the fore. Three-fourths of the roofs over airport buildings now leak and need almost $2 million in repair work, a report to the City Council said.

Governor Signs Santa Monica Lawmaker's Measure to Extend Clean Vehicle Decal Program
October 11, 2017 -- A law sponsored by Sana Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom to extend California’s Clean Vehicle Decal program was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday. Under the new law, "clean vehicle" decals would be valid for three years and the number issued would be uncapped.

Temporary Restraining Order Halts Start of Runway Reduction at Santa Monica Airport
October 10, 2017 -- A U.S. District Court judge on Sunday temporarily halted work originally scheduled to start Monday to shorten the Santa Monica Airport runway, saying it would “irreparably harm” the litigation trying to stop closure of the airport by the end of 2028.

DACA Renewal Deadline Passes as Santa Monica Fundraisers Try to Determine How Many Locals Aided
October 10, 2017 -- With a crucial deadline for DACA come and gone, Santa Monica officials who quickly raised $60,000 to help program applicants avert deportation are waiting to determine how many students they aided.

Santa Monica Tourism Wins Award for Bringing Slice of Beach Life to London
October 10, 2017 -- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) won a prestigious marketing award for a pop-up rooftop lounge the agency set up near the Tower of London this summer.

Santa Monica Man Arrested in Connection to Carjacking, Pico Shooting is Son of Victim of 2005 Slaying
October 6, 2017 -- A man whose father was fatallly gunned down in a 2005 gang slaying in Santa Monica was charged Monday for his involvement in a shooting in the Pico Neighborhood last month, police said.

Santa Monica City Council Moves Closer to Allowing Operation of Two Medicinal 'Pot Shops'
October 6, 2017 -- After a long delay, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday is likely to plant the seeds needed to open the city’s first legal “pot shops.”

Santa Monica Police Find Happy Pastures for Two of Their Own
October 6, 2017 -- They patrolled the byways and beaches of Santa Monica together for 15 years, until age finally caught up with Spiderman and Barney and suddenly they needed retirement homes. But they won’t need to sweat it. After a combined 33 years on the job, the two horses are moving to a “good home.”

Test Scores for Santa Monica-Malibu District Students Improve
October 5, 2017 -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students in most grades improved their scores in the 2016-17 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests, continuing to outpace their county and state peers, District officials announced Wednesday.

New Wilmont Chair Weighs in on Santa Monica's Largest Neighborhood
October 5, 2017 -- Reinhard Kargl was elected chair of the Wilmont Montana Neighborhood Coalition (“Wilmont”) on Tuesday. The day after his election, Kargl shared his thoughts about the current state of Wilmont and the future it faces.

Santa Monica College Debate Team Kicks off Tournament Season with Big Wins
October 5, 2017 -- Seven members of the Santa Monica College (SMC) debate team took home individual awards at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association (PSCFA) “Warm Up” Tournament last weekend.

Little Change in List of Santa Monica's Top Industries and Employers
October 4, 2017 – Santa Monica’s major economic engine remains tourism, while its largest employers are in the fields of governance, education, medicine and research, according to a list of the city’s top industries and employers released last week.

A Celebration of Leonard Cohen at the Broard Stage in Santa Monica
October 4, 2017 -- Singer songwriter Leonard Cohen's deadpan delivery of melancholic songs penned over the last 50 years earned him the nickname “The Godfather of Gloom.” But there is another side to the musical visionary and poet that will be highlighted this month.

Santa Monica's Virginia Avenue Park Hosts Fall Festival
October 4, 2017 -- There's a nip in the air and the days are getting shorter, which means its time for the annual Fall festival at Santa Monica's Virginia Avenue Park on Saturday. The third annual Fall festival -- which features live music, dancing and activities -- takes place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the park located at 2201 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

City of Malibu Files for 'Divorce' from Santa Monica-Malibu School District
October 3, 2017 -- After more than a year of negotiations, the City of Malibu has filed for “divorce” from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD).

War of Words Continues After Santa Monica Airport Pact
October 3, 2017 -- City officials thought they’d brokered peace in January with a decree closing Santa Monica's embattled municipal airport by the end of 2028, while slashing jet traffic in the meantime. But it still doesn’t take much to set off a war of words when it comes to the century old airport.

OPINION: Santa Monica Airport Advisor Nelson Hernandez Shares Final Thoughts
October 3, 2017 -- Indulge me as I share some of my personal insights on the past two years of work. It has been quite an adventure!

Mixed-use Apartment Projects in Downtown Santa Monica Headed for Hearing
October 2, 2017 -- Proposals for two apartment complexes in downtown Santa Monica go to the City’s Planning Commission on Wednesday, as the pace of more than 3 million square feet in new building picks up after being left in limbo during a long fight over development.

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