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Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- March 2019

Santa Monica College's Chemistry Club Wins Major Recognition for Second Straight Year
April 2, 2019 -- For the second straight year, the world’s largest scientific society recognized Santa Monica College's Chemistry Club with its highest student honor last month.

Santa Monica Hires New Assistant City Clerk
April 2, 2019 -- When the next Santa Monica election rolls around Nikima “Niki” Newsome will be charged with making sure everything runs smoothly. Newsome was hired as the City's new Assistant Director of Records and Election Services/Assistant City Clerk.

Santa Monica's Newer Renters Pay More Than Double What Long-Time Tenants Pay
April 1, 2019 -- Santa Monica has become a city separated by a rental divide, with some tenants paying triple what their next-door neighbors pay for a similar unit.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Adopts Sustainability Plan
April 1, 2019 -- From serving locally grown foods to teaching students green practices, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will begin implementing a Sustainability Plan that has been more than a year in the making.

LETTERS -- Protect the Local Landlady
The landlady is subjected to direct verbal insults and random acts of violence, and yet there are no local laws to protect her, writes former Santa Monica Rent Board member Robert Kronovet.

Appeals Court Rules City Council Can Remain Pending Voting Rights Appeal
March 27, 2019 -- The California Court of Appeal on Wednesday issued a ruling that allows the current City Council members to continue serving while the City's appeal in a voting rights lawsuit is heard.

Montana Avenue 'Bomber Robber" Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison
March 27, 2019 -- A man whose escaped through a North of Montana neighborhood after threatening to blow up a jewelry store during a botched robbery was sentenced to two years in state prison Monday.

Hotel Housekeepers to Rally at City Hall Tonight
March 26, 2019 -- Saying they are tired of waiting, the local hotel workers union will hold a rally Tuesday night to pressure the City Council to pass a “Hotel Housekeepers’ Bill of Rights.”

OPINION -- Local 11's Empty Attempt to Stand With Women Against Abuse
March 26, 2019 -- Tonight, Unite Here Local 11 will rally to urge the City Council to pass So-called “Housekeeper Bill of Rights,” but it would be wise to remember the suspicious origin of this ordinance, says the Center for Union Facts.

OPINION -- Supporting our Hotel Workers is a Winning Strategy for Everyone
March 26, 2019 -- Tourism has funded some of the finest community services in the country, hotel companies have earned healthy profits, but the workers have had to fight for every improvement they have enjoyed, writes a member of Clergy and Laity United.

Santa Monica Set to Ban Market Rate 'Micro Units'
March 22, 2018 -- The City Council could put an immediate halt next week to a sudden flood of market-rate “micro units” proposed for Downtown Santa Monica under a loophole in the City's zoning laws.

EXTRA Police Seek Rape Suspect Who Frequents Santa Monica Expo Stations
March 22, 2019 -- A homeless man who frequents Expo train stations in Santa Monica is wanted for the rape of a woman at the Metro Red-Line Station in East Hollywood earlier this month.

Black Composers Featured at Santa Monica Concert Saturday
March 22, 2019 -- Black composers who worked in the classical idiom will be the focus of the Jacaranda program "…dream in color" this Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church in Downtown Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Homeless Count Shows Slight Increase
March 21, 2019 -- The total number of homeless persons living in Santa Monica increased from 957 in 2018 to 985 this year, but significantly fewer "unsheltered" persons were living Downtown, according to the the results of the 2019 homeless count released by the City Thursday.

OPINION -- Santa Monica's PEN Blazed a Digital Trail
March 21, 2019 -- Those of us who were privileged to enjoy PEN in its heyday have probably never since found an online community that was so engaging and so local, writes Councilmember Kevin McKeown.

Santa Monica Police Bust Two Suspected Drug Dealers
March 20, 2019 -- Santa Monica Police recovered more than $50,000 in narcotics during a drug bust Tuesday at a residence in the 1400 block of 11th Street.

Santa Monica's Newest Rent Control Tenants Leaving More Quickly, Report Finds
March 20, 2019 -- Santa Monica's once-stable rent controlled market has become a revolving door as vacated units fetch skyrocketing rents, according to the Rent Control Board's Annual report.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Offers View of Close Encounter with "Most Primitive Object"

March 20, 2019 -- Bright spring galaxies, the most primitive object ever explored and the first check-up of Mars' interior are among the topics of shows at Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium next month.

Santa Monica Senator Appointed to State Film Commission
March 19, 2019 -- Santa Monica State Senator Ben Allen has been named to the California Film Commission, a 21-member appointed board that runs a $1.6 billion tax incentive program to lure film and television production to California.

Appeals Court Grants Temporary Stay Allowing Council to Serve After August 15
March 19, 2019 -- A California Appeals Court ruled Monday that Santa Monica's seven City Council members can continue serving while the City's appeal of a voting rights lawsuit is heard.

Santa Monica Lawmakers' Measure Would Make It Easier to Approve School Parcel Taxes
March 18, 2019 -- A ballot measure sponsored by Santa Monica Senator Ben Allen that would lower the threshold for approval of parcel taxes is awaiting referral to a committee, his office said Monday.

EXTRA E-Scooter Rider Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in Santa Monica
March 18, 2019 -- A man riding a scooter was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Ocean Park Friday night, marking the first traffic fatality in Santa Monica since 2017 and the city's first involving a scooter.

Santa Monica College Table Tennis Team Headed to National Championship
March 18, 2019 -- After winning their division and sweeping through the regionals, the Santa Monica College table tennis team is headed for the National championship next month in North Carolina.

Slew of State Housing Bills Will Make Little Dent in Santa Monica
March 15, 2019 -- A series of housing bills introduced in the State Assembly Thursday will likely have little impact on Santa Monica's skyrocketing rental market, although one of them could pave the way for a local voter initiative.

Santa Monica Review Launches Spring Issue with Literary Party
March 15, 2019 -- Works in a wide range of genres will be featured in the upcoming issue of Santa Monica Review, the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college.

Superior Court Judge Rejects School District's Motion to Dismiss "Free Education" Lawsuit
March 14, 2019 -- A Superior Court Judge this week rejected a motion by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) to dismiss a lawsuit charging it violates a student's right to a free education.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday
March 14, 2019 -- The prescription drug a driver is taking may be legal, but driving impaired under its influence can result in a DUI, police are reminding Santa Monica motorists this week.

EXTRA Appeals Court Affirms Santa Monica's Right to Regulate Online Homesharing Platforms
March 13, 2019 -- In a ruling City officials called "a big win," a California Appeals Court on Wednesday affirmed Santa Monica's right to penalize online platforms for booking short-term rentals of properties not licensed under the city's strict home-sharing law.

Attorney Who Filed Complaint Against City, PAL Has Won High Profile Cases
March 13, 2019 -- The attorney respresenting the plaintiffs in a sex abuse case against the City of Santa Monica and the Police Activities League (PAL) has a record of winning high profile cases against public institutions.

Six of Uller's Alleged Sex Abuse Victims File Claim Against City, PAL
March 13, 2019 -- Six alleged victims of former City employee Eric Uller filed a claim Monday against the City and the Police Activities League (PAL) claiming they failed to protect them as children from sexual abuse.

County Supervisors Tout Santa Monica's Wage Law Enforcement
March 12, 2019 -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday recognized Santa Monica for its successful efforts to enforce its minimum wage law by collecting more than $43,000 in back wages for 75 local employees.

Santa Monica Prepares for Marathon Crowds
March 12, 2019 -- On Sunday, March 24, Santa Monica will once again be the finish line for the Los Angeles Marathon and that means a boon for local businesses and, for residents, finding different ways of getting around town.

City Asks Appeals Court to Allow Council Members to Serve After August 15 Prohibition
March 11, 2019 -- The City on Friday asked a California Appeals Court to stay an order in the voting rights lawsuit that would prohibit sitting Council members from serving after August 15.

Music from Legendary SUNY Buffalo Center Focus of Santa Monica Concerts
March 11, 2019 -- Two local avant-garde music series will join forces to celebrate a creative arts program launched across the country 55 years ago that shaped the course of American classical music.

OPINION -- Local 11’s Anti-Environment Track Record Doesn’t Bode Well for City’s Climate Agenda
March 11, 2019 -- Santa Monica's Climate Action Plan can only succeed if everyone plays their part, but for years, Unite Here has fought against hotel policies that encourage guests to “go green,” writes Charlyce Bozzello from the Center for Union Facts.

Council Approves $525,000 for City Hall Annex "Light Paintings"
March 8, 2019 -- When Santa Monica's cutting-edge City Services Building opens early next year, it will feature a series of nature-inspired "paintings" composed of light, after the City Council on Tuesday approved a $525,000 contract with Los Angeles-based artist Susan Narduli.

Santa Monica Seeks Input on Future of Parks
March 8, 2019 -- Santa Monica residents have a chance weigh in on the future of the city's public parks at a Community Open House Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Tongva Park across from City Hall.

Photo Exhibit Exhibit Captures Santa Monica's Past
March 8, 2019 -- The work of seven photographers who captured Santa Monica's past in memorable images will be the subject of an exhibit at the Santa Monica Public Library that kicks off Saturday.

EXTRA Coastal Commission Approves Civic Center Playing Field
March 7, 2019 -- After a struggle that began with a request a quarter century ago and gained momentum a dozen years later, Santa Monica residents will finally get a Civic Center sports field a quarter mile from the beach.

Santa Monica Wins Three Homesharing Cases
March 7, 2019 -- Three defendants were convicted Tuesday of violating Santa Monica's homesharing ordinance, marking the third such court victory for the City in the past three weeks, resulting in a total of 29 rental units being returned to the market.

LETTERS -- Districts Give All Voters a Voice
March 7, 2019 -- I felt lower than a gopher’s ears when I read Former Mayor Paul Rosenstein's letter to the editor in the Lookout that distorts the facts in the voting rights case so much.

Judge Palazuelos Denies City's Request for A Stay in Voting Rights Order
March 6, 2019 -- Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos on Thursday denied the City's request to allow Council members not elected by districts to serve after August 15 while the voting rights case is appealed.

City Turns to Lawn Signs to Encourage Motorists' Safe Behavior
March 6, 2019 -- It may not be election time, but signs will sprout on lawns across Santa Monica this month. The City is distributing 2,000 lawn signs to encourage road safety.

SMC Concert Series Features Film Music and the Eclectic Compositions of Wayne Shorter
March 6, 2019 -- Folk, jazz and film music will be featured at the Santa Monica College Music Department's spring performance series this month.

EXCLUSIVE City Officials Won't Reveal Cost of Voting Rights Lawsuit Until Case is Closed
March 5, 2019 -- Santa Monica taxpayers will have to wait until the voting rights lawsuit ends to learn what the City has spent fighting the nearly three-year-old case.

Preparing for a Moon Landing at the SMC Planetarium
March 5, 2019 -- Who are Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart? Though few may remember their names, the three astronauts helped pave the way for the first manned lunar landing.

California Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Gang Members Arrested in Santa Monica
March 4, 2019 -- The California Supreme Court last week upheld the death sentence for two gang members engaged on a 2000 crime spree that ended with a tense hostage takeover and shootout with police on the Santa Monica Pier.

Council Hopes to Boost Bike Share Sponsorship as Program Falters
March 4, 2019 -- As it struggles to keep the Breeze Bike Share program from falling further in the red, the City Council Tuesday is expected to extend a commission-based agreement with the company that secured the program's sponsorship with Hulu.

LETTERS --Supporters of District Elections Should Beware of What They Seek
August 4, 2019 -- Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos' order for district elections is undemocratic and a version of voter suppression, writes former Paul Rosenstein.

Santa Monica Airport Key Destination for New Commuter Service
March 1, 2019 -- FLOAT (FLy Over All Traffic) -- a new air shuttle service that promises to whisk commuters across the Southern California region -- views Santa Monica as a key destination, company officials said.

Schoenberg's Compositions to Get Piano Treatment at Santa Monica Library
March 11, 2019 -- The atonal music of Arnold Schoenberg -- which changed the course of classical composition and worked its way into suspense movie soundtracks -- will be performed this month at the Santa Monica Public Library.

LETTERS -- It's Time to Break SMRR's Iron Grip
March 1, 2019 -- Throughout history, power has never been given away, it's always been taken, writes former Rent Board Commissioner Robert Kronovet.

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