The LookOut

Santa Monica Cash Registers Ringing This Holiday Season
November 30, 2011 -- Downtown Santa Monica merchants kicked off a “high energy weekend” on Black Friday, according to Santa Monica Place.

Santa Monica Building Owners to Pay Monitoring Fees Under New Law
November 30, 2011 -- Under a new law passed last week, Santa Monica property owners must pay the City's cost of insuring that income-qualified tenants occupy their affordable housing units.

Santa Monica College Film Fest to Screen December 10
November 30, 2011 -- Santa Monica College will showcase independently produced student films in all genres during its annual Film Festival December 10.

EXTRA!!! Malibu Starts Ball Rolling on Secession
November 29, 2011 -- The Malibu City Council voted to set the gears in motion to secede from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

Tracing the Contentious Path of the District's Gift Policy
November 29, 2011 --When the Santa Monica - Malibu School Board votes on whether to revise the district's gift policy at a special meeting Tuesday night,

Second EXPO Facility Workshop to be Held Tuesday
November 29, 2011 -- Santa Monica residents will get a chance to weigh in Tuesday night on the future use for a buffer zone the City will create adjacent to the EXPO maintenance facility.

Realtor's Birthday Gifts Help Westside Children
November 29, 2011 -- It was influential realtor Joyce Rey's birthday recently.

What I Say -- Spreading it Around
November 28, 2011 -- You know a local issue is hot if the Los Angeles Times devotes most of its Sunday editorial space to it, and that’s what happened yesterday when the paper of record for about 17 million people editorialized about a vote the board of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (with about 12,000 students) will take at a special meeting tomorrow night.

Divisive Fundraising Policy to be Decided Tuesday
November 28, 2011 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board is expected to approve a controversial wealth-redistribution policy Tuesday that could have profound repercussions for the district.

Downtown Santa Monica Heralds the Season with Winterlit
November 28, 2011 -- If you were lucky enough to catch Downtown Santa Monica’s official launch of the holiday shopping season with the Winterlit concert Saturday night, you likely witnessed its headliner before he disappears into the modern-day pop music star-making machine.

Santa Monica Rent Board Seeks New Member
November 28, 2011 -- There was once a time when being a member of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board felt like being in the trenches dodging verbal volleys.

Santa Monica Adopts New Bike Action Plan
November 24, 2011 -- Over a year of planning and numerous community meetings culminated in enthusiastic and unanimous support from the Santa Monica City Council for the Bike Plan Tuesday.

Nov.24-Nov.28 Thanksgiving Holiday

Santa Monica Raises Requirements for Potential Candidates
November 23, 2011 -- Residents thinking about running for office in Santa Monica will have to collect twice as many signatures, or pay an in-lieu fee.

Santa Monica City Manager Wants to Know “Can We Talk?”
November 23, 2011 -- City Manager Rod Gould is touring the neighborhoods of Santa Monica to give residents a chance to talk directly to city staff about the future of their city.

Danger Lurks Behind Cork and Fork This Holiday Season
November 23, 2011 -- Beware the danger lurking behind the cork -- and fork -- during the holiday season.

Council to Discuss Dramatic Changes to Santa Monica Pier's Governance
November 22, 2011 -- Santa Monica Pier will assume a more limited role under a reorganization plan that will go before the City Council Tuesday.

JAMS Modernization Project Breaks Ground in Santa Monica
November 22, 2011 -- Last Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) in Santa Monica marks the official start of a $12.45 million dollar project to modernize the campus.

Santa Monica College Celebrates Holidays with Music
November 22, 2011 -- From classical choral music to standard holiday hits, Santa Monica College will be alive with the sound of music in December.

Santa Monica's Bike Center Rolls in New Era
November 21, 2011 -- Santa Monicans got a guided tour of the nation's largest full-service bike center – and one last chance to weigh in on the Bike Action Plan – Saturday.

State Rejects Off-leash Dog Area on Santa Monica Beach
November 21, 2011 -- Reiterating the same concerns they expressed in 2005, State officials last week shot down Santa Monica's latest effort to establish an off-leash area for dogs on the beach.

Firefighters Put out Santa Monica Blaze
November 21, 2011 – Santa Monica Firefighters are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out early Saturday morning at the corner of 15th and Broadway.

What I Say --Wedding Cakes and Canyons
November 21, 2011 -- Last week, the Planning Commission reviewed the proposed mixed-use development at 401 Broadway

Planning Commission Holds Line on Community Benefits for New Development
November 18, 2011 -- The Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously accepted the most recent design for a new building at a prime location in Downtown Santa Monica, holding firm on the contentious issue of community benefits.

Red Cross Honors Santa Monica Emergency Services
November 18, 2011 -- The City of Santa Monica's Office of Emergency Management was honored for its exemplary work...

Santa Monica College Football Coach Wins Top Honor
November 18, 2011 -- coach Gifford Lindheim has been named American Division Pacific Conference Coach of the Year.

Santa Monica School Board to Revisit Gift Policy
November 17, 2011 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board will continue discussing a controversial wealth redistribution policy Thursday night that would weaken the authority of Parent Teacher Associations to spend money.

ICE at Santa Monica Ushers in Fifth Year
November 17, 2011 -- Once ICE at Santa Monica appears, the holiday season has officially arrived in the beachside city.

Santa Monica Among the Nation's Top Digital Governments
November 17, 2011 -- The prominent Center for Digital Government has recognized Santa Monica as having one of the most wired governments in the nation for a city its size.

Win-Win at Bob's Market in Santa Monica
November 16, 2011 – It's a familiar sight in Sunset Park. Bob's Market manager Richard Johnson puts a quarter in the kiddie ride outside the store and tells the lucky tot there's a job waiting for her at the popular store when she grows up.

Paying “Tribute” to Good Clothing in Santa Monica
November 16, 2011 -- One recent fall night, within the olive green and pale yellow walls of the chic, boutique Tribute, something special was going on.

Give the Gift of Recycling in Santa Monica this Holiday Season
November 16, 2011 -- If you're guilty of contributing to landfills by trashing your holiday wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, Santa Monica wants to offer an alternative.

Santa Monica to Draft Civility Agreement for Public Political Discourse
November 15, 2011 -- If you attend a public meeting in Santa Monica, please refrain from hooting down an opponent, don't lose control and keep an open mind.

Tests to Begin on Santa Monica's Chain Reaction Sculpture
November 15, 2011 -- Five months after Santa Monica fenced off the Civic Center’s chain reaction sculpture, a team of structural engineers next week will begin performing tests to make sure the 26-foot-tall iconic art work made of chain link is structurally sound.

Santa Monica Sears and the Two-Minute Shoes
November 15, 2011 --Two years ago, I found myself in a situation. A footwear faux pas situation.

Santa Monica City Council Talks Election Finance Changes
November 14, 2011 -- Some Santa Monica candidates could see their private coffers swell, while others could see their public funding dwindle after the Santa Monica City Council tackled election finance Tuesday.

Exhibit at Getty Villa Brings Ancient and Modern Together
November 14, 2011 -- In 1974, oil billionaire and philanthropist J. Paul Getty opened his Getty Villa adjacent to Pacific Palisades as a repository for his extensive collection of ancient art from Greece, Rome and Etruria. This month, Getty curators have opened an exhibit that turns the concept of antiquities on its head with “Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique.”

What I Say -- Maine, Ohio, and the Corner of Fourth and Broadway
November 14, 2011 -- If President Barack Obama wins reelection next November, people will look back at the events of the past six weeks as crucial. The results of last Tuesday’s elections in Ohio, Mississippi, Arizona, Maine, and elsewhere, where voters emphatically repudiated antiunion, anti-abortion rights, anti-immigrant, anti-voting, etc., planks of the right-wing platform, provide evidence for a remarkable shift in the political winds.

Santa Monica Planning Commission Approves Bike Action Plan
November 11, 2011 -- The Santa Monica Planning Commission unanimously approved the latest version of the Bike Action Plan at a special meeting Wednesday night after prioritizing the development of a bike share program and safe routes to school.

Santa Monica Opens New Traffic Management Center
November 11, 2011 -- Have you ever sat and waited what seemed an eternity for the red light to change? If it was due to a technical hitch, Santa Monica traffic officials can now fix it with the flick of a switch.

Santa Monica Public Library Gets Top Rating
November 11, 2011 -- For the second year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library was the only Southern California library to earn a prestigious five-star rating from the Library Journal, City officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Bans Late-night Food Trucks on Main Street
November 10, 2011 -- A bustling stretch of Main Street Santa Monica will see fewer food trucks after the City Council on Tuesday voted to ban them during the early morning hours on weekends.

Andy Grammer Brings It Home for the Santa Monica's Winterlit
November 10, 2011 -- Stroll down Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade of an evening and you might stumble on the next “Artist to Watch in 2012.”

Santa Monica College's Promo Program Gets National Recognition
November 10, 2011 -- What a lesson in promotions! What started as a way to train 25 at-risk Santa Monica College students from the inner city for lucrative jobs in television promotion is garnering national attention.

Santa Monica Rep Celebrates First Anniversary, Hails Brecht
October 9, 2011 -- From 1941 to 1947, the seminal German playwright and director Bertolt Brecht resided in Santa Monica, where he wrote, among other works, his celebrated “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” Later this month, Santa Monica Repertory Theatre will honor Brecht’s genius along with their one-year anniversary of residency.

Santa Monica Approves Funds to Improve TV Facility, Traffic Signals and Freeway Signage
November 9, 2011 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday night approved funds to address rehab problems at City TV's future home, make sure traffic signals don't go on the blink and improve signage on the freeway.

Santa Monica School District to Network with Local Businesses Tonight
November 9, 2011 -- If your business is local, small and women or minority-owned, the Santa Monica School District wants to encourage you to compete for lucrative contracts at a networking event Wednesday night.

ARB Chair Resigns Under Conflict of Interest Law
November 8, 2011 -- Architectural Review Chair Michael Folonis became the third board or commission member to resign under a newly enforced state conflict-of-interest law that prohibits municipal officials from entering into business contracts with the City.

Santa Monica Businesses Present Wish List to Council
November 8, 2011 -- The Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) offered the City Council last week several goals to help keep Santa Monica's small businesses afloat as they embark on the road to recovery from the recent economic downturn.

SMC's Public Policy Institute to Host Forum Thursday
November 8, 2011 -- A "dramatic" shift in responsibilities from the state to counties and local governments is the subject of Santa Monica College's Public Policy Institute's public forum Thursday, November 10.

Andy Grammer Returns to the Promenade for Winterlit
November 7, 2011 -- It’ll be a heart-felt homecoming for recording artist Andy Grammer when he returns to Third Street Promenade as the headliner for this year’s Winterlit Holiday Concert Celebration.

Police Seek Assailant in Bus Bench Attack
November 7, 2011 -- Police are searching for a possibly homeless suspect who assaulted a man seated on a bus bench at Wilshire Boulevard near 7th Avenue in Santa Monica, leaving him in critical condition.

What I Say -- Virtuous Cycles?
November 7, 2011-- I feel like the City of Santa Monica is doing a lot of planning just for me. I mean, I love trees, and last week the Planning Commission reviewed the City’s draft Urban Forest Master Plan.

City Council Wants a More Sustainable Santa Monica
November 4, 2011 -- The City Council told staff on Tuesday to look into ways to make Santa Monica's economy more sustainable, including a motion that gives local businesses a slight edge when competing for City contracts.

Downtown Santa Monica Looks for Living Streets
November 4, 2011 -- They do it in major European cities. Also in San Francisco.

Downtown Stakeholders Feel Upbeat
November 4, 2011 -- Downtown Santa Monica officials have reason to be upbeat after a majority of the areas stakeholders, 59 percent, said they were “very optimistic” about the future, despite the pessimistic mood that has settled over the country.

Getting People on Bikes Poses Challenges for City
November 3, 2011 -- Having embarked on an ambitious Bike Action Plan that adds bicycle parking spaces, lockers and bike lanes, Santa Monica still faces the challenge of making cycling safer and more convenient Downtown.

Santa Monica to Explore Giving Contracts to Worker-friendly Businesses
November 3, 2011 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved a motion Tuesday night to explore how to better channel City contracts to businesses that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for their employees.

Santa Monica Gets Grant to Enhance Traffic Safety
November 3, 2011 -- Santa Monica Police will launch a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on city roadways thanks to a $158,000 traffic safety grant.

Santa Monica Files Criminal Complaint Against Local Coin Dealer
November 2, 2011 -- The City of Santa Monica filed a 19-count criminal complaint Tuesday charging that Goldline International, Inc., one of the nation's largest gold coin dealers, runs a bait and switch operation.

Downtown Santa Monica's New VP Advocates Balanced Approach
November 2, 2011 -- Whether planning for more parking, expanding bike lanes or helping to shepherd development Downtown, Debbie Lee knows it’s important to balance interests.

Bicycle Plan Gets Rolling Downtown
November 2, 2011 -- Have you ever been stuck in Downtown traffic and watched enviously as a bicyclist streams by?

Barbara Stinchfield Announces Retirement
November 2, 2011 -- Barbara Stinchfield -- a leading force in shaping Santa Monica's public spaces -- announced she will be retiring for her post as the City's director of Community & Cultural Services (CCS) at the end of the year.

AFM Expects to Shine; Retail Changes on the Promenade
November 1, 2011 -- The American Film Market, which will bring people from more than 70 countries to Santa Monica this week, appears headed for another solid showing after a better-than-expected 2010.

SMC Lowers Health Costs
November 1, 2011 -- Santa Monica College's classified employees union followed the lead of managers and trustees and voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement that will save the school more than a million dollars.

School Officials Cleared in Alleged Racial Incident
November 1, 2011 -- LA Sheriff's investigators said Monday they had cleared high-ranking Santa Monica High School officials of allegedly intimidating the victim and/or witnesses and destroying evidence to cover up a racial incident involving members of the school's wresting team.

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