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.
Pier Vendor Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against the City
July 29, 2022 -- A street vendor sued the City in Federal Court Thursday alleging that police are towing the vehicles of unlicensed Black and Latino drivers and charging an unjustified impound fee, according to news reports.
Monthly Poll Finds Most Oppose Reinstating Mask Mandate
July 29, 2022 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found that more than two-thirds of the respondents opposed reimposing an indoor mask mandate, a step County health officials declined to take on Thursday.
Last Minute Rent Proposal Triggers Political Firestorm
July 28, 2022 -- A plan by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMR) to lower the annual rent increase at the ballot box was torpedoed at the final hour by Councilmember Lana Negrete early Wednesday morning.
'Moviemaker' Ranks SMC Among Top Film Schools
July 28, 2022 -- If your parents aren't millionaires and you want to break into film, Santa Monica College might just be the way to go, according to MovieMaker, which named the school one of the 40 best in North America.
Local Measures Crowd November Ballot
July 27, 2022 -- Santa Monica voters will face an alphabet soup of measures on the November ballot -- from rival transfer taxes to a cannabis tax and Charter Amendment to change qualifications to the Personnel Board.
National Night Out Returns to City Hall
July 27, 2022 -- More than 1,000 residents are expected to gather in front of City Hall next Tuesday to celebrate National Night Out (NNO).
Santa Monica Historic Building Goes High-Tech
July 26, 2022 -- (UPDATED) A historic Downtown Santa Monica apartment building that once housed the working class and retirees is the new home to a major investor in cutting-edge games companies seven years after it was removed from rent control.
Consultant Gives Mayor's Transfer Tax Measure Mixed Review
July 25, 2022 -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich's proposed tax measure could lead to "significant progress" addressing homelessness and affordable housing, but it provides an unpredictable revenue stream and adds a layer of bureaucracy, a report to the City Council found.
COVID Cases Flattening as County Weighs Indoor Masking
July 25, 2022 -- There were 406 coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica last week, down from 464, reflecting a downward trend countywide as health officials prepare to reimpose indoor masking.
OPINION -- Dueling Tax Measures Offer Easy Choice
July 23, 2022 – Councilmember Phil Brock’s measure acknowledges that the City’s financial situation is temporary; Mayor Sue Himmelrich's endlessly collects more tax money from residents without addressing their core concerns.
Nearly Three Dozen Candidates Pull Papers to Run During First Week
July 22, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Attorney Kevin Shenkman, the lawyer who represents the plaintiffs in the Voting Rights lawsuit against the City, and Jon Mann, who is running for Council for a record 16th time, were among the 36 candidates who pulled nominating papers this week.
McCowan Won't Seek Re-Election
July 22, 2022 -- Councilmember Kristin McCowan, who rose from being a relative unknown to become a promising star on the local political scene, announced she will not seek re-election in November.
Council Gushes Over Gehry's Ocean Avenue Project
July 21, 2022 -- One week ago, an unprecedented event took place in the City Council chambers: A meeting was stopped so Councilmembers could pose for a picture with a proposed development and its architect.
SMC Planetarium Features Images from the Cosmos
July 21, 2022 -- Next month, Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium will share and discuss the first images beamed back by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is now a million miles from Earth.
De la Torre Free to Take Part in Voting Rights Lawsuit Decisions
July 20, 2022 -- Councilmember Oscar de la Torre is free to participate in meetings, deliberations and decisions concerning the voting rights lawsuit his wife and the organization he headed filed against the City.
Santa Monica Landlord Settles Tenant Harassment Lawsuit Filed by City
July 20, 2022 -- A Santa Monica landlord who allegedly tried to wrongfully evict a family from their rent controlled apartment has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City.
Former Navy SEAL Faces Life in Prison for Santa Monica Murder
July 19, 2022 -- A former Navy SEAL faces a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison for the 2016 murder of a Santa Monica man after a verbal altercation near the Pier.
Santa Monica Pain Specialist Settles Case Alleging Pharma Kickbacks
July 19, 2022 -- A pain specialist with an office in Santa Monica has agreed to pay more than a quarter million dollars to settle a federal case alleging he took kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.
LETTERS -- Statistically, the Gascón Recall Will Likely Fail to Qualify
Residents, business owners, employees, and City officials who are concerned about crime in Santa Monica should not count on the George Gascón Recall to reduce it.
Eleven Council Candidates Pull Nominating Papers
July 18, 2022 -- Eleven candidates -- including an incumbent, a Rent Control Board member and the founder of a local online grassroots group -- pulled nominating papers Monday in the race for three open seats on the Santa Monica City Council.
Questions Raised as County Poised to Order Indoor Masking
July 18, 2022 -- As Los Angeles County prepares to bring back indoor mask mandates, some health officials are questioning whether the added measure is warranted and the Sheriff is vowing not to enforce it.
Rent Board Member Resigns Shortly After Another is Sworn In
July 15, 2022 -- Rent Board Commissioner Naomi Sultan unexpectedly announced her resignation on Thursday, less than four months before she was slated to run for re-election and hours after the board appointed a new member.
988 Suicide Hotline Kicks in Saturday, Raising Concerns
July 14, 2022 -- Starting Saturday, call centers in the Los Angeles area and nationwide will start taking 988 calls for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), raising preparedness and privacy concerns.
LETTERS -- How is Mayor's Tax Measure Perverse? Let Me Count the Ways
July 15, 2022 -- I find it utterly hypocritical that Mayor Sue Himmelrich and others are criticizing the City Council's proposed transfer tax when it is the Mayor’s proposed transfer tax that is “perverse."
Council Amends Brock's Rival Transfer Tax Measure for Upcoming Vote
July 13, 2022 -- Despite a stiff lobbying effort by powerful opponents, the City Council on Tuesday voted to amend a property transfer tax proposed by Councilmember Phil Brock and vote on it in two weeks.
SMC Showcases Two Theatrical Performances
July, 13, 2022 -- A musical take on the "Alice" books and spoken performances of scenes from film and theater will be presented at Santa Monica College this month.
Starbucks to Shut Down Store Near Pier Due to Safety Concerns
July 12, 2022 -- Starbucks will shut down its store near the foot of the Santa Monica Pier by month's end because it is no longer safe to operate, company officials announced Tuesday.
July 12, 2022 -- After a dramatic surge, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases plummeted in Santa Monica last week, according to LA County Health data released Monday.
Andrew Thomas Returns to Head Downtown Santa Monica
July 11, 2022 -- Andrew Thomas -- who for a decade was charged with ensuring Santa Monica's Downtown was a clean and inviting place -- will return to head the agency that runs the city's central business district.
Brock's Transfer Tax Measure Could Test SMRR's Clout
July 11, 2022 -- An upcoming vote on Councilmember Phil Brock's real estate transfer tax measure could be a key test of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights' (SMMR) political clout.
City Council to Place Mayor's Tax Measure on Ballot
July 8, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday must place Mayor Sue Himmelrich's real estate transfer tax measure on the November ballot after it received the required number of voter signatures.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism to Host Job Fair
July 8, 2022 -- As Santa Monica's tourism industry bounces back from the coronavirus shutdown, local hotels and restaurants are seeking employees to fill the employment gaps and cash in on ample opportunities.
Staff Recommends Placing Brock's Transfer Tax on Ballot, Warns of Shortcomings
July 7, 2022 -- City staff is recommending that Councilmember Phil Brock's proposed property transfer tax be placed on the November ballot but warned it could be a "very volatile" source of revenue.
Council Votes to Fund Title Search for 1888 Deed to Veterans
July 7, 2022 -- The old handwritten deed -- authorized on March 3, 1888 by Santa Monica benefactress Arcadia Bandini -- is specific in its details.
County Delays Release of Homeless Count Results
July 6, 2022 -- As the Los Angeles region grapples with a highly visible homeless population, County officials announced Wednesday that the results of its homeless count won't be released for another two months.
Nearly $18 Million in Government Funding Earmarked for Santa Monica
July 6, 2022 -- The City of Santa Monica will receive $16.3 million in State funding for three projects, with another $1.5 million from the Federal Government likely to follow.
COVID Cases See Dramatic Surge in Santa Monica
July 5, 2022 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica nearly tripled over the past week, reaching the highest level in five months, according to Los Angeles County Health data.
Most Oppose Rival Tax Measures, Poll Finds
July 5, 2022 -- Rival ballot measures that would hike the local transfer tax on high-end properties currently lack the support needed for voter approval, according to a local monthly poll of select residents.
Council Makes Outdoors Business Program Permanent
June 30, 2022 -- Spawned as a temporary response to a health emergency, “parklets” are here to stay as a permanent feature of Santa Monica's commercial strips, the City Council unanimously decided on Tuesday.
Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint This Evening
July 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica police will hold a DUI checkpoint this evening between 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location within the city.