archiveThe LookOutline
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California-- July 2012

Santa Monica Pico Development Scales First Hurdle
July 31, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Planning Commission voted 5 to 2 this month to recommend that the City Council move ahead with a mixed-use project that would add 300 residential units at the eastern end of Pico Boulevard.

Santa Monica's Community of Readers
July 31, 2012 – The only thing better than curling up with good book is knowing you're not alone, and thanks to the Santa Monica Public Library, you're not.

Santa Monica Priest Charged, Turns Himself In
July 31, 2012 -- A Santa Monica priest accused of sexual battery turned himself in to the police Monday after the City Attorney filed charges.

Santa Monica Council Member Bobby Shriver Exploring Options
July 30, 2012 -- Santa Monica Council member Bobby Shriver has all but dismissed running for re-election and is exploring a bid for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, The Lookout has learned.

Struggle for Control of Santa Monica Group Hits Impasse
July 30, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s Wilmont Neighborhood Association issued a statement Friday that officially terminated the membership of those who claim they were elected to the organization’s board at a June 9 meeting.

Santa Monica to Celebrate National Night Out August 7
July 30, 2012 -- Santa Monica police, along with new Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, will celebrate its ties to the community it protects next Tuesday, August 7, during National Night Out.

Santa Monica Tenants Group Backs Two More for Council
July 29, 2012 -- The steering committee of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights -- the City's most influential political organization -- voted Saturday to endorse former Council member Tony Vazquez and incumbent Terry O'Day in the race for City Council.

Santa Monica Bike Center Kicks Off New Commuter Program
July 27, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s Bike Center will start a new free program Friday to entice commuters to get out of their cars and on to bikes.

Santa Monica Ranks Second in U.S. for Expensive Lodgings
July 27, 2012 -- Santa Monica is only second to Newport, R.I. when it comes to cities with the most expensive lodgings in America this summer, according to a survey by

Santa Monica Priest Accused of Sexual Assault
July 27, 2012 -- Santa Monica Police are investigating allegations that Father Rafael Venegas, pastor of St. Anne’s Parish, assaulted an adult woman in the church parking lot last September.

City Council Postpones Decision on Fate of Santa Monica Trailer Park
June 26, 2012 -- In a meeting that ended at 1 a.m., the City Council heard more than 80 speakers weigh in on a mixed-use project that has made national headlines because it would replace one of Santa Monica’s two remaining trailer parks.

Michael Dell's Miramar-Geddon?
In this week's L.A. Weekly, Lookout reporters Jorge Casuso and Jason Islas explore the battle over the Miramar, the Wilmont Coup and the Huntley Hotel’s well-heeled efforts to stop the project.

Good Taste: Check Out the Food at the Santa Monica Library
July 26, 2012 -- I had lunch this week at one of Santa Monica's best kept secrets.  It's located in a beautiful little courtyard in the Santa Monica Main Library.  Yes, you read right -- the library!   It's called the Bookmark Café, and they have one of the best menu selections in town at very low prices.  It's now my new favorite place for lunch.

Up and Coming Folk Rock Acts Take the Stage at Santa Monica Pier
July 26, 2012 -- Whether you call it folk rock, acoustic hip-rock or organic jam rock, guys with guitars -- some of them acoustic -- will take the Pier stage for the fourth free Twilight Dance Series Concert Thursday.

Santa Monica Smoking Ban Fails Second Reading
July 25, 2012 -- After Mayor Richard Bloom changed his vote Tuesday, the Santa Monica City Council scuttled an anti-smoking ordinance that would have banned smoking in all new apartments in the beachside city.

Downtown Santa Monica Hires Digital Marketing Manager
July 25, 2012 -- Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM) has appointed Cheryl Bagby as digital marketing manager at a time when the agency that runs the commercial heart of the city is retooling to stay ahead of the times.

Santa Monica Council Votes to Improve Roads, Water System
July 25, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to pay more than half a million dollars to help provide safe rides to school, improve the City’s water infrastructure, and replace bus and fire engine batteries.

Santa Monica's Mt. Olive Lutheran Church Celebrates 70th Birthday

July 24, 2012 -- Mount Olive Lutheran Church celebrates its 70th year of worship in Santa Monica this month with much that is changing.

Tackling Gang Slayings that Plagued Santa Monica in the 1990s
July 24, 2012 -- Santa Monica Police Detective Larry Nicols runs his finger down a yellowed page, scanning a list of murders that took place in Santa Monica, organized by year.

Suspect Charged in Homeless Stabbings in Santa Monica, LA
July 24, 2012 -- A suspect was charged Monday with three counts of attempted murder in the stabbings of three homeless individuals in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Santa Monica’s Powerful Tenants Group Makes Only Two Endorsements in Council Race
July 23, 2012 -- Members of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) voted Sunday to back only two candidates in the race for four open City Council seats, leaving the other two endorsements at the discretion of the group's Steering Committee.

SMRR Makes No Assembly Endorsement; Fills Other Slates with Incumbents
June 23, 2012 -- Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom on Sunday failed for the second time to win the endorsement for State Assembly of the city's powerful tenants' group that helped launch his political career 13 years ago.

Santa Monica History Museum Showcases Miramar's Colorful Past
July 23, 2012 -- The Santa Monica History Museum is showcasing “Life at the Miramar,” which traces the famed property’s history from the site owned in1875 by Santa Monica co-founder Senator John P. Jones to the hotel currently owned by tech billionaire Michael Dell.

Secretive SMRR Committee Could Shape Santa Monica Council Race
July 20, 2012 -- With half a dozen City Council hopefuls seeking to win the backing of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) at Sunday's political convention, the final decision could rest with the group's 13-member steering committee, according to political observers.

Santa Monica Homeless Man Could Be Victim of Serial Stabbings

July 20, 2012 -- Santa Monica Police are on the lookout for what may be a serial stabber targeting homeless people, including the man stabbed on a bus bench Tuesday.

Downtown Santa Monica's Eyes on the Street
July 20, 2012 -- Chris Brown, the new operations coordinator for Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM), likes to take on new challenges. He has been a teacher at a nursery, a bus mechanic, a mortician and a team leader for Downtown's Ambassador program.

Council Puts Change to Santa Monica’s Rent Control Law on November Ballot
July 19, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to put a measure on the November ballot that could alter Santa Monica’s rent control law for the sixth time since it was adopted in 1979.

Santa Monica Pier Concert to Offer New LA Sounds
July 19, 2012 -- Two up-and-coming LA bands will take the stage Thursday at the third concert in the popular Summer Twilight Dance Series Thursday night at the Santa Monica Pier.

Good Taste: Snug Harbor Haven for Hearty Breakfasts
July 19, 2012 -- One of my favorite places to go for breakfast in Santa Monica is Snug Harbor. First, I love the name.  It feels cozy, and it is. Second, I love the ambiance of the place.  It's like I stepped back 40 years into a little diner off the lake in Wisconsin we used to go to as kids.

New Downtown Santa Monica Website to Offer Instant Info
July 19, 2012 -- In the 21st century, the race goes to the swiftest; news and information not available instantly is frequently too late to be relevant.

Santa Monica Neighborhood Group Holds “Illegal” Meeting
July 18, 2012 -- The battle for control of Santa Monica’s Wilmont Neighborhood Organization escalated Monday when the newly-elected board's first meeting was deemed illegal by the old board.

A Dozen Incumbents Pull Papers for Santa Monica Council

July 18, 2012 -- Since election season kicked off Monday morning, thirteen candidates have pulled papers to run for four open seats on the Santa Monica City Council. Incumbent council member Bobby Shriver was not among them.

Only In America: Henry Wilshire's Dream Ran Straight to Santa Monica
July 18, 2012 – Henry Gaylord Wilshire was a man who wasn't afraid of contradictions. He was a committed socialist who made and lost half a dozen fortunes, along the way founding the boulevard that bears his name.

Santa Monica Woman Fatally Struck, Homeless Man Stabbed
July 17, 2012 -- Santa Monica police are searching for suspects in two crimes this week after a homeless man survived a stabbing and a woman was killed by a hit-and-driver.

Santa Monica Bike Center Kicks into High Gear for Summer
July 17, 2012 -- Since its fanfare opening November 18, Santa Monica’s Bike Center -- which is located in Public Parking Structures 7 and 8 at Santa Monica Place -- has raked in a major award, enrolled some 150 new members and enlisted half a dozen clients.

Meet Santa Monica's New Chief
July 17, 2012 -- When Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks took the oath of office last month, she became the first woman to head the beachside city's 116-year-old police force.

Santa Monica Council to Consider Rent Control Law Change
July 17, 2012 -- As part of an unusually light agenda, the City Council on Tuesday will consider changing Santa Monica’s Rent Control law for only the third time in more than 30 years.

Santa Monica Wilmont Board Fires Back after Ballot Count
July 16, 2012 -- After more than a month of silence, the board of Santa Monica's Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition has denounced the provisional election held at last month's annual meeting and issued “Cease and Desist” letters to the newly elected board members.

Special Report: Balancing Downtown Santa Monica's Parking Equation
July 16, 2012 -- How do you rebuild aging parking structures without losing spaces? How do you free up prime parking for visitors without snubbing employees? And how do you make limited on-street parking more readily available to customers?

Santa Monica Kicks Off Election Season
July 16, 2012 -- Election season in Santa Monica officially starts Monday when candidates can begin picking up nomination papers at City Hall.

New Downtown Website to Offer Instant Info
July 16, 2012 -- In the 21st century, the race goes to the swiftest; news and information not available instantly is frequently too late to be relevant.

Former Santa Monica Council Member Tony Vazquez Hopes to Regain Seat
July 13, 2012 -- More than two decades after becoming the only Latino elected to the Santa Monica City Council, Tony Vazquez will seek to regain the seat the lost in 1994, The Lookout has learned.

Santa Monica Raises Parking Rates
July 13, 2012 -- In an attempt to address Santa Monica’s parking crunch and increase revenues, the City Council voted Tuesday to raise parking rates throughout the City, bringing in an estimated $3.5 million revenue annually starting October 1.

Santa Monica's Tourism Rebounds
July 13, 2012 -- In what was a major boost for Downtown Santa Monica businesses, the city’s tourism industry had what visitor industry officials called a “break-out” year in 2011 amid major shifts in where visitors came from.

Santa Monica Bans Smoking in New Apartments
July 12, 2012 -- All new apartments and condos -- and old ones getting new tenants -- in Santa Monica could be designated smoke-free after the City Council voted 4 to 2 to pass stricter anti-smoking rules in multi-family residences Tuesday.

Jamaican Sounds to Rock the Santa Monica Pier Thursday Night
July 12, 2012 -- "Night time come they don't wan' go home" could be an apt lyric when music from Jamaica rocks the Santa Monica Pier during the second concert in the Summer Twilight Dance Series Thursday night.

Santa Monica Takes Book Discussions Online
July 12, 2012 -- If you can't make the Santa Monica Public Library's popular book discussions at a branch near you, you can now take part online.

EXTRA! Santa Monica Murder in Historic Building First of Year
July 12, 2012 -- In what is Santa Monica’s first murder this year, a man was fatally stabbed early Wednesday morning in a high-end Downtown apartment complex rumored to have once been a popular hangout for movie stars.

“Chain Reaction” Becomes Santa Monica’s Newest Landmark
July 11, 2012 -- Paul Conrad’s “Chain Reaction” became Santa Monica’s newest landmark Monday night, but the fate of the 20-year-old sculpture remains up in the air.

Good Taste: Cruising Santa Monica for Food to Go at Rosti Tuscan
July 11, 2012 -- I bought a new car a few weeks ago.  Well, it was not a new car, but an old car.  A really old car.  A 1965 Mercedes 230sl.  White with a navy blue soft top.  My dream car, finally realized!

Ten-month Downtown Santa Monica Plumbing Project Over
July 11, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s Public Works department just completed a 10-month-long project to remove old pipes from a three-block area Downtown.

Santa Monica Council Tackles Planes and Automobiles
July 10, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council will tackle parking, student flights out of Santa Monica Airport and the future of the California incline project Tuesday Night.

Magic Afoot at Hi De Ho
July 10, 2012 -- If you think you'll only find comic books at Hi De Ho, think again -- there's Magic in the store.

Santa Monica Middle Schoolers to Perform Dr. Seuss’ "Lorax"
July 10, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s future middle-schoolers, many of them from low-income backgrounds, will sing and dance their way through a free performance of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax this month to help them make the transition from elementary school.

Santa Monica's Wilmont Coalition Gets New Board, Maybe
July 9, 2012 -- A month after votes were cast, members of Santa Monica’s Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition announced Saturday that a new board will take over the organization.

Santa Monica Landmarks Commission to Take Up Chain Reaction
July 9, 2012 -- City staff is recommending that the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission not designate Paul Conrad’s iconic “Chain Reaction” sculpture as a local landmark.

Photo Lecture Showcases Santa Monica as Far Western Wilderness
July 9, 2012 -- Even as the sounds of sawing and hammering filled the air, Santa Monica, which had just been incorporated as a city in 1875, was still clinging to its image as a pristine outpost at the western edge of the continent.

Santa Monica to Pick Buyer for Prime Oceanfront Land
July 6, 2012 -- What's half an acre of land on Santa Monica beach worth? In just two months, the City has received 15 bids for a parcel of land just south of Pico Boulevard, with the highest offer coming in at $15.75 million. Cash.

Santa Monica Bike Share Program Zooms Ahead
July 6, 2012 -- Thanks to a $2.6 million grant, Santa Monica will have a citywide bike share program three years ahead of schedule, according to City officials.

Santa Monica Neighborhood Group Set to Count Ballots
July 6, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition may soon have a new board if the ballot box from last month’s provisional election is finally opened and the votes counted this Saturday at the Church of the Nazerene.

Advances in Forensic Science Don’t Help Solve All of Santa Monica's Cold Cases
July 4, 2012 -- Santa Monica Police Detective Larry Nicols sits under a fluorescent light, thumbing through pages in a black binder. The silver-haired man in a gray blazer smiling back at him from a glossy photo is Frank Perez, murdered in 1987.

Good Taste: A Summertime Beach Brunch on the Santa Monica Coast
July 4, 2012 -- July 1st is like the official "First Day of Summer" for me.  With that in mind, with a beautiful, sunny 73- degree Sunday as my backdrop, I set out to meet a friend for brunch at the beach.

Santa Monica Pier Kicks Off Summer Dance Series
July 4, 2012 -- It's a sure sign summer is here when the Santa Monica Pier kicks off its 28th Annual Twilight Dance Series Thursday night with the summery sounds of a surf troubadour and some smooth rhythm and blues.

Santa Monica to Celebrate Independence Day
July 4, 2012 -- Santa Monica will celebrate Independence Day with a traditional parade down Main Street Wednesday morning, a special light show at night on the Pacific Park Ferris wheel at the Pier, but no fireworks.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Tackles Budget Deficit
July 3, 2012 -- Classes will get bigger and funds for special education programs smaller after the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board approved a budget last week that includes some $2.5 million in cuts.

Santa Monica Police Implement Wildlife Policy
July 3, 2012 -- A month after police fatally shot a mountain lion in Downtown Santa Monica in May, the department will implement a new policy for capturing wildlife that includes additional training and new equipment, police officials said.

Santa Monica Police Target Tailgating This Month
July 3, 2012 -- During July, the Santa Monica police officers will be on the lookout for motorists following other vehicles too closely.

Cracking Cold Cases in Santa Monica
July 2, 2012 -- When Mary Garnello -- a 19-year-old Santa Monica College student from Florida -- was found brutally raped and murdered in her Pico Neighborhood apartment, Larry Nicols was working at his family’s Bay Cities Deli.

Santa Monica Mayor Makes Assembly Runoff
July 2, 2012 -- The final votes have been counted, and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is headed into a runoff with incumbent Betsy Butler in the November race for the newly formed 50th Assembly District, according to results posted on the LA County Registrar's website Friday.

Santa Monica Rent Board Recommends Charter Amendment
July 2, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Rent Control Board unanimously voted Thursday to recommend that the City Council place a measure on the November ballot that would change how annual increases for rent-controlled units are calculated.

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