Council Expected to Continue Hybrid Meetings
October 5, 2022 -- The City Council will likely take a cautious approach to COVID despite steadily dwindling cases by continuing to hold meetings that can be attended in-person or online.
School Board Slate Rally Targets Muir Closure
October 5, 2022 -- The abrupt closure of John Muir Elementary School this summer due to mold and water damage has become a flash point in the November 8 race for four School Board seats.
OPINION --- Superintendent’s Message: Muir/SMASH Campus Update
October 5, 2022 -- There will be a renewed and restored neighborhood school once the necessary work is done on the affected buildings, writes Superintendent Ben Drati.
Most Voters Undecided in Council Race, Poll Finds
October 4, 2022 -- One month before the November 8 race for three City Council seats, a text poll of residents concerned with crime and safety found most have not decided who they will support.
OPINION -- Toss Slate Mailers and Cards
October 4, 2022 -- Slate mailer/card organizations are not about vetting candidates or ballot measures and are not endorsements by any recognized organization, warns the Santa Monica Transparency Project.
Special Interests Are Major Players in Council Race
October 3, 2022 -- Special interest groups will have a major impact on the November 8 City Council race, with one union spending as much to target a single candidate as all eleven candidates have spent combined.
City Poised to Ticket Vehicles Parked on 'Parkways' and 'Driveway Aprons'
October 3, 2022 -- After a 30-day warning period, the City of Santa Monica will begin ticketing vehicles on November 1 that are parked outside of a driveway or roadway, officials announced last week.
OPINION -- City Mum on Plans to Reroute LAX Jet Traffic Over Santa Monica
October 3, 2022 -- The City Council has needlessly placed 719 additional Santa Monica households at risk of commercial jumbo jet noise with its misplaced political considerations, writes attorney and pilot Eve Lopez.
Dem Club Membership Breaks with Tradition in 'Surprising Upset'
September 30, 2022 -- In a highly unusual move, Santa Monica's three most liberal groups are not in lockstep with their City Council endorsements, risking a takeover by a "conservative" majority.
Council Paves Way for All-Electric Future
September 30, 2020 -- Santa Monica took major strides toward an all-electric future Tuesday when the City Council approved policies that ban gas energy in all new construction and require developers to add EV chargers in multi-family buildings.
LETTERS -- A Case of Legislative Undersight
September 30, 2020 -- The State has come down firmly on the side of commercial, profit-driven businesses that have no obligation to ensure that residents will have the water and power they’ll need.
Santa Monica Rents Hold Steady in September
September 27, 2022 -- Rents held steady in Santa Monica this month as the median rent nationwide dipped for the first time since last December, according to Apartment List's monthly rent report released Tuesday.
LETTERS -- Drug Abuse Is Far from Victimless
September 27, 2022 -- Why is any local government normalizing and enabling addictive drug abuse by distributing syringes intended solely for injecting dangerous, illegal narcotics? Are these so-called leaders so empty-headed?
Local Coronavirus Cases Keep Dropping
September 26, 2022 -- After hitting a five-month low, coronavirus cases continued dropping in Santa Monica last week, although virus-related deaths continued to persist.
Thief Strikes Main Street Store
September 26, 2022 -- Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, a man rolled a garbage bin in front of Susu handbags on Main Street, smashed the front window and made off with more than $10,000 worth of merchandise.
Sexual Assault Suspect Arrested at SMC
September 26, 2022 -- A suspected sexual predator who was luring female students from Santa Monica College's (SMC) main campus was arrested Monday morning, according to college police.
Negrete Target of First Election Hit Piece
September 23, 2022 -- The local hotel workers union fired the first attack of the 2022 Election season with a mailer targeting Councilmember Lana Negrete.
New Council Meeting Rules Could be Tested for Extra 3 Months
September 22, 2022 -- A test program to shorten City Council meetings and allow most public speakers to leave early could be extended an extra three months.
Major Donations Give Much-Needed Boost to Police Cadet Program
September 21, 2022 -- Four major Santa Monica-based businesses have donated a total of $400,000 to expand the Police Cadet Program decimated by budget cutbacks made during the coronavirus shutdown.
OPINION -- How Has Gelson's Project Gotten to This Stage?
September 22, 2022 -- The State’s mandate for more than 9,000 residential units is, in spirit and letter, intended to provide affordable housing. Yet 90 percent of Lincoln Center will be priced at market rates. That’s counterproductive.
Official Who Spearheaded City's Affordable Housing Efforts to Retire
September 20, 2022 -- Andy Agle -- who helped ensure more than 2,000 units were earmarked for low-income tenants and worked to acquire more than 20 acres of private land for the City -- will retire at the end of the year, City officials announced Tuesday.
Suicide Attempt, Juvenile Fight Lead to Hospitalizations
September 20, 2022 -- A suicide attempt near the pier Tuesday and a juvenile fight near Samohi on Monday led to two separate hospitalizations, according to police.
LETTERS -- Transparent Democracy
September 20, 2022 -- The process to enforce campaign finance irregularities takes time, and often voters don’t find out about even the most blatant violations until after the election, writes former Mayor Kevin McKeown.
Transfer Tax Battle Could Shatter Fundraising Records
September 19, 2022 -- The battle over Mayor Sue Himmelrich's transfer tax measure promises to be a costly one, with a record-breaking fundraising advantage quickly erased with a single donation.
Local Weekly COVID Cases Drop Below 100, as Deaths Persist
September 19, 2022 -- Weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped below 100 for the first time in five months, while local virus-related deaths rose, according to data from LA County Public Health.
Council Takes Steps to Boost Input from Section 8 Advisory Board
September 16, 2022 -- After a lengthy debate, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to radically shrink -- and rename -- an advisory board comprised of Section 8 tenants to give it a stronger voice.
OPINION --Tragic Flight School Crash Reminder of Danger Posed by Airport
September 16, 2022 -- One thing Santa Monica Airport should absolutely not be used for is flying lessons. Among the more than 100 accidents since 1982 connected with the airport, 28 have involved student pilots.
Design Board to Review Another Tight-Fitting Downtown Project
September 15, 2022 -- A month after taking up a tight-fitting hotel project, Santa Monica's design board on Monday will review an affordable housing development that squeezes an eight-story 38-unit building into a single-family-sized lot Downtown.
Satellites and Sunspots at the SMC Planetarium
September 15, 2022 -- A fleet of satellites, increasing sunspots and a new lunar lander are among the topics the Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium will explore next month.
Sheriffs Search Kuehl's Santa Monica Home
September 14, 2022 -- Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators searched County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl's Santa Monica home Wednesday morning in connection with ongoing public corruption investigation, Sheriffs officials said.
Animation, Feminism and Self-Affirmation at Free SMC Media Talks
September 14, 2022 -- Unusual animation techniques, feminism lessons for inmates and tips for building resilience are the subjects of three upcoming talks at Santa Monica College (SMC).
LETTERS -- CEPS is An Unapologetic Lobby for Incumbents
September 14, 2022 -- Parents can safely dismiss anything Ted Winterer says as anti-parent, pro-politician agitprop. He’s looking out for CEPS. Not kids.
Council Race Could Test SMRR's Clout
September 13, 2022 -- This year's City Council election could be a major test of the political clout Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) has wielded for four decades.
Local Coronavirus Cases Rise After Steady Drop
September 13, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica rose slightly last week after steadily dropping for the past two months, according to Public Health data released this week.
Letters -- School District Leaders Deserve Praise, Not Baseless Criticism
September 12, 2022 -- I happen to believe our school board can walk and chew gum at the same time and can address both operational and infrastructure needs simultaneously, writes former City Councilmember Ted Winterer.
Hotel Union Flexes Muscle at SMRR Convention
September 12, 2022 -- High humidity and COVID fears resulted in a record low turnout at Sunday's Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) convention, paving the way for the hotel workers union to flex its political muscle.
Council Expected to Ask County's Help Removing Clean Needle Program from Parks
September 12, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to request that County officials help to immediately relocate a program that hands out clean needles to homeless addicts in Santa Monica parks.
Hotel Workers Union Endorses Raskin, Torosis, Zwick
September 9, 2022 -- Three City Council challengers have won the backing of the local hotel workers union, giving them a boost at Sunday's Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) political convention.
Two Killed in Plane Crash at Santa Monica Airport
September 9, 2022 -- The pilot of a single engine aircraft and his passenger died after the plane operated by a local flight school crashed at Santa Monica Airport.
LA County's Homeless Population Up 4 Percent, Down 23 Percent on Westside
September 8, 2022 -- Los Angeles County saw more homeless people in shelters during the coronavirus emergency than ever before, contributing to a drop in Santa Monica's homeless population.
Classic Car Show Celebrates Low Rider Culture
September 8, 2022 -- More than 200 classic cars, some dating back to the 1930s, will roll in to the Santa Monica Pier Saturday for a celebration of LA's famous low rider culture.
Police Union Endorses Negrete, Melkonians, Gielicz
September 7, 2022 -- Santa Monica's two public safety unions -- which have traditionally endorsed the same City Council candidates and backed them with ample war chests -- will not be in lockstep this year.
OPINION -- Response to Recent Attacks on SMMUSD
September 7, 2022 -- Sadly, we have people in our community who continue to spread their version of the big lie as if it were backed by truth. But the facts are the facts, writes School Board Member Jon Kean.
Apartment Providers Placed in Diversion Program
September 7, 2022 -- The owners and managers of two Santa Monica apartment buildings have been placed in a 12-month diversion program after the City filed a lawsuit alleging multiple illegal acts, City officials said last week.
Local COVID Cases Drop Again
September 6, 2022 -- Coranavirus cases in Santa Monica continued dropping last week as Los Angeles County moved into the "low community level" of transmission.
Five Santa Monica Artists Receive City Fellowships
September 6, 2022 -- Five Santa Monica artists working in diverse media -- from painting to digital -- will receive fellowships from the City to support their work.
OPINION --- Where is the Action Plan to Address Learning Loss?
September 6, 2022 -- It is time, now more than ever, to address the leadership crisis our public schools are facing.
Firefighters Endorse Negrete, Melkonians, Tororis for Council
September 2, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Firefighters union announced Tuesday it is backing Councilmember Lana Negrete, Rent Board Commissioner Caroline Torosis and Residocracy founder Armen Melkonians for City Council.
Mid-City Apartment Fire Displaces 2 Residents
September 2, 2022 -- Two residents were displaced after their unit in a Mid City apartment building suffered "significant damage" during a fire Thursday night, Santa Monica Fire Department officials said Friday.
School Board Slate Eyes Major Shake-Up
September 1, 2022 -- For what may be the first time in at least two decades, an organized slate of four challengers from Santa Monica and Malibu will try to gain control of the School Board.
Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Friday
September 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica police on Friday will hold a driving under the influence (DUI) Checkpoint from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location in the city.
Coleman Resigns from School Board
August 31, 2022 -- School Board member Keith Coleman resigned from his appointed position on Wednesday but will still appear on the November ballot in the race for four open seats.
OPINION -- Superintendent’s Message: Board Member Coleman Resignation Announcement
I would like to inform you that I received the resignation of board member Keith Coleman, today, effective immediately.
City Hires Equity and Inclusion Manager
August 31, 2022 -- Santa Monica has hired an Equity and Inclusion Manager to oversee efforts to diversify the City's institutional culture, City officials announced Tuesday.
Rents Dip in Santa Monica After Slowly Inching Up
August 30, 2022 -- After slowly rising over the past five months, rents in Santa Monica dipped in August by less than 1 percent, according to Apartment List's monthly rent report released Tuesday.
Water Near Pier Remains Under Health Advisory as Temperatures Soar
August 30, 2022 -- Beachgoers flocking to Santa Monica on Labor Day weekend to escape a record-breaking heat wave should avoid cooling off in the water near the Santa Monica Pier.
COVID-19 Cases Continue Dropping, Deaths Persist
August 29, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases continued dropping in Santa Monica last week to 132 confirmed cases, the lowest level since early April.
'Pulse' Poll Finds Most Local Voters Undecided
August 29, 2022 -- A select poll of Santa Monica residents found that few have made up their minds on how they'll vote in the November election but strongly oppose the idea of housing the homeless in hotels.
Incumbent Abruptly Drops Out of School Board Race
August 26, 2022 -- Incumbent Keith Coleman has abruptly dropped out of the race for four open seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board but has not given a reason for his decision.
Council Approves One-Time Funding to Enhance Library Services
August 25, 2022 -- Santa Monica's public libraries will receive a one-time infusion of more than $500,000, marking a "milestone" in restoring services decimated by the coronavirus shutdown.
SMC's Fall Literary Series Features Fact and Fiction
August 25, 2022 -- If you've ever wondered where you fit in or if your other half exists, Santa Monica College's upcoming Live Literary Talks & Readings might suggest some answers.
Council Approves Emergency Eviction Moratorium After Heated Debate
August 24, 2022 -- Under an emergency ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday, rent control tenants who receive a rent increase of more than 3 percent can defer their rent for up to five months.
SMC Planetarium Tackles Topics With a Sci-Fi Bent
August 24, 2022 -- Samples brought back from Mars, a disc meant to be found by aliens and a system to deflect incoming asteroids might sound like science fiction topics.
Relief Program for Rent Control Tenants Kicks Off Monday
August 23, 2022 -- The City on Monday will begin accepting applications for a one-time program that will distribute $750,000 to low-income tenants unable to pay their upcoming rent increases.
SMC to Launch Groundbreaking Aquaculture Certificate Program
August 23, 2022 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is launching an innovative Aquaculture Certificate program to prepare students for the rapidly growing "blue economy" centered on the world's oceans.
COVID Cases Drop to Lowest Level in Over 4 Months
August 22, 2022 - With the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variants slowly ebbing, Santa Monica recorded the lowest number of coronavirus cases in more than four months.
City Council to Consider Eviction Moratorium
August 22, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday will take up an emergency ordinance that protects tenants from eviction if they can't afford to pay a monthly rent increase of more than 3 percent over the next six months.
Dog Goes Blind After Walk in Palisades Park
August 19, 2022 -- The story of a dog who went blind after swallowing oxycodone during a walk in Palisades Park on Sunday is quickly spreading nationwide.
Three Inmates Charged in 'Whitey' Bulger Killing
August 19, 2022 -- A Mafia hitman and two other inmates have been charged with the 2018 beating death of former Santa Monica resident James "Whitey" Bulger in a West Virginia federal prison, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Santa Monica Ballot Order Set
August 18, 2022 -- Challengers will top of the ballot in three of the four Santa Monica races November 8, gaining what could be a slight advantage with voters.
Fight Breaks Out at Samohi
August 18, 2022 -- Squad cars swarmed the Samohi campus on the first day of school Thursday after a fight broke out that led to one student being arrested and another hospitalized.
City Council Poised to Approve COVID-Related Contracts
August 17, 2022 -- Santa Monica City government is expected to remain in COVID mode with continued testing, contact tracing and remote meetings for most Boards and Commissions.
13 Candidates File for Council Race
August 17, 2022 -- Four City Council hopefuls filed nominating papers on Wednesday, the final filing date, while six others did not file, according to a candidate list posted by the City Clerk.
Local COVID Cases Continue Dropping
August 16, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases continued to drop in Santa Monica, although a highly contagious variant has quickly spread in local nursing homes and among Big Blue Bus employees, according to the latest data from LA County Health officials.
Burglary Suspect Arrested North of Montana
August 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica police on Saturday afternoon arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for a string of thefts in a residential neighborhood north of Montana Avenue.
Field of Potential Candidates Dwindles
August 15, 2022 -- With Wednesday's deadline to submit nominating petitions for City Council and School and College Boards looming, the field of potential candidates is dwindling.
School District Opts for Weekly COVID Testing at Home
August 15, 2022 -- The School District is working on a plan to provide free weekly at-home testing kits to all students and staff, exceeding recommendations from the County and State, District officials announced Monday.
Suspect Arrested for Murder in Year's Second Homicide
August 12, 2022 -- A man was arrested for murder Thursday morning after he was seen exiting a Downtown apartment where a woman was found dead. The homicide comes two weeks after a man was fatally stabbed in the courtyard of the Main Library.
SMC Exhibition Offers 'Consciousness-Shifting' View of Native Cultures
August 12, 2022 -- Over the past decade, artist Matika Wilbur has traveled further than the moon in her RV, "The Big Girl;" on horseback and plane, boat and by foot to capture the faces of Native Americans.
Federal Judge Paves Way for Deposition of Mayor's Husband in Housing Lawsuit
August 11, 2022 -- A U.S. District Court judge last month paved the way for the deposition of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights' (SMRR) co-chair Michael Soloff in a lawsuit challenging the City's ban on short-term rentals.
Sex Offender Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor
August 11, 2022 -- Police are seeking possible victims of a registered sex offender arrested last Friday for allegedly groping a 16-year-old girl in Downtown Santa Monica.
LETTERS -- Santa Monica's Entrenched Homeless Strategy an 'Abject Failure'
August 11, 2022 -- The City must stop enticing more homeless individuals to come here and dispense with any delusion that because homelessness is not a crime, homeless crime is not a crisis.
Opposing Arguments Promise Bitter Transfer Tax Battle
August 10, 2022 -- The arguments for and against two rival transfer tax measures on the November ballot offer a clear glimpse of what promises to be a hotly contested battle.
LETTERS -- Our City Needs a Whistleblower
August 10, 2022 -- Santa Monica police officers must be getting instructions from the city bosses, but they can't speak up without fear of retaliation.
Police Hold 'Shoulder Tap' Operation
August 10, 2022 -- How many adults in Santa Monica would buy liquor for a minor? Police set out to answer that question last Friday.
As COVID Cases Drop, Complacency Grows
August 9, 2022 -- As the School Board prepares to debate COVID policies on Thursday, a lack of interest, and even skepticism, about the dangers the virus poses appears to be growing.
'Americana in the Park' Concert Series Returns
August 9, 2022 -- Santa Monica kicks off the second-annual Americana in the Park concert series next month in Gandara Park with a native Tongva blessing and kora music from West Africa.
OPINION -- Santa Monica Police Officers Association Sets the Record Straight
August 9, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) would like to bring clarity to misconceptions about crime and public safety presence and correct the record on a series of falsehoods.
City Wins Injunction Against Landlords in Section 8 Discrimination Case
August 8, 2022 -- The City Attorney's office has won a stipulated judgment against three landlords who refused to accept a Section 8 housing voucher from a disabled senior who has lived in her apartment for 25 years.
Foster Not to Seek Re-Election to School Board
August 8, 2022 -- Craig Foster -- the only Malibu resident on the School Board and an outspoken champion of the city's efforts to split from the District -- announced on Friday that he would not seek reelection.
Only 4 Candidates Pull Papers Over Past 2 Weeks
August 5, 2022 -- After a quick start to election season, only four prospective candidates have pulled nominating papers over the past two weeks for four local races, while one has withdrawn.
District Announces COVID Policies for Upcoming School Year
August 5, 2022 -- Santa Monica schools will be functioning "as normally as possible" under revised policies that strongly recommend instead of mandate facemasks and tests, District officials said Friday.
Police Launch Public Survey Tool
August 4, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Police Department launched a public survey tool on Thursday that officials say will help them "better understand local concerns, priorities, and trust in public safety officers."
LETTERS -- Santa Monica's Unspoken Trade-Off
August 4, 2022 -- The mere fact that one part of the economy -- housing -- is targeted for complete destruction to favor the demand-side tenants speaks for itself.
Council Unanimously Backs SMRR's Proposal to Cut Rent Increases
August 3, 2022 -- The City Council's "Change" slate joined in a unanimous vote Wednesday night to place a proposed Charter Amendment on the November ballot that would reduce rent increases pushed by Santa Monica's political establishment.
Water Near Pier Under Health Advisory
August 3, 2022 -- The water around the Santa Monica Pier continues to be routinely included in Los Angeles County's health advisory list.
Impact of Homeless Programs Measured in Report
August 2, 2022 -- From April through June, Santa Monica's three multidisciplinary outreach teams made more than 11,000 contacts with homeless persons, according to the latest Homelessness Report to the City Council.
Santa Monica Rents Rise in July
August 2, 2022 -- Santa Monica rents increased by 1.6 percent in July after growing by less than 1 percent in each of the prior three months, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday.
Man Fatally Stabbed in Library Courtyard
August 1, 2022 -- A fatal stabbing Friday in courtyard of the Main Library involving two homeless men marked the first homicide in Santa Monica this year.
Negrete Pulls Proposal to Address Rent Increases
August 1, 2022 -- Five days after igniting a firestorm with a last-minute proposal to address near record rent increases, Councilmember Lana Negrete has pulled her plan.
OPINION -- Open Letter from Councilmember Lana Negrete
August 8, 2022 -- Editor's note: On Sunday, July 31 at 2:42 p.m. Denny Zane sent an email requesting that an Open Letter to Councilmember Lana Negrete he had emailed on July 30 at 9:23 p.m. not be published. The Lookout did not see the request until after the letter had been published. The letter, therefore, has been removed.
OPINION -- Denny Zane's Open Letter to Councilmember Lana Negrete
August 1, 2022 -- Your proposal does not actually target the help to low income renters; you want middle income renters to pay for this by increasing their rents very unfairly.