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

Santa Monica City Council Moves to Contain Pension Costs
March 30, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday voted to change the City's pension formula in an effort to curb its contributions to employee retirement plans that have ballooned to $44 million from less than $10 million a decade ago.

Santa Monica's Tree Removal Process in Effect
March 30, 2012 -- Santa Monica has begun implementing a process that allows members of public to appeal the proposed removal of a tree.

Santa Monica School District Now Accepting Permit Applications
March 30, 2012 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has begun accepting applications for non-resident students.

Santa Monica's Iconic Ferris Wheel to Go Dark for Earth Hour
March 29, 2012 -- The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will join such international landmarks as the Sydney Opera House and the Eifel Tower and go dark for an hour to mark Earth Day.

Santa Monica Pier to Lose Deck Parking
March 29, 2012 -- Pedestrians and cars will no longer have to jockey for space on the Santa Monica Pier ramp after the City Council on Tuesday gave staff its unanimous blessing to remove parking from the landmark's wooden deck.

Major Santa Monica Streets to Get Makeovers
March 29, 2012 -- The City Council on Tuesday paved the way for two projects that will improve streets leading to the Santa Monica Freeway.

LETTERS:SMRR's "Disloyalty"
March 29, 2012 -- Last Sunday, Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, which has run the city for 30 years, showed its lack of loyalty to Mayor Richard Bloom, who has been an active and loyal member of SMRR for 23 years.  ("Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights Snubs Bloom, Endorses Osborn," March 26, 2012)

Santa MSanta Monica Opposes Corporate Personhood
March 28, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council decided unanimously to voice its disapproval of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that vests corporations with the rights of individuals.

Santa Monica Chamber Names Sustainable Awards Finalists
March 28, 2012 -- An interior design firm, two hotels, a restaurant, a health spa and a media foundation are the final nominees for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Sustainable Quality Awards, which will "shine a light on the entertainment industry," chamber officials said.

Food Fetish - This Place Stinks!
March 28, 2012 --I love cheese.  I crave cheese.   Any type of cheese.  For several months, I have been driving by this cute little place on Montana with a sign outside that says "This Place Stinks!" I take a closer look,  and it's Andrew's Cheese store. Cool.  So my friend and I go in, in search of the stinkiest cheeses.

onica City Council to Take Up Pensions, Personhood and Pier Parking
March 27, 2012 -- Santa Monica is expected to take a concrete step Tuesday to construct the first library in the city's poorest and most diverse area, meeting a demand from a Pico Neighborhood Community Plan that dates back to 1983.
Please note: In paragraph 5 of the above story the percentage should be multiplied by an employee's number of years of service up to 30 years.

Santa Monica Recs and Parks Chair Takes State Leadership Role, Stinchfield Recognized
March 27, 2012 -- Phil Brock, who chairs the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission, was installed Thursday as the new President of the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members.

Santa Monica to Move Ahead with Construction of Pico Library
March 27, 2012 -- Santa Monica is expected to take a concrete step Tuesday to construct the first library in the city's poorest and most diverse area, meeting a demand from a Pico Neighborhood Community Plan that dates back to 1983.

EXTRA! Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights Snubs Bloom, Endorses Osborn
March 26, 2012 -- Santa Monica's powerful tenants group snubbed Mayor Richard Bloom, a longtime loyal member, and endorsed Torie Osborn in the June race for State representative Sunday.

Two Busted in Santa Monica Movie Company Billing Scheme
March 26, 2012 -- Two Southern California men were arrested Friday when they were indicted for allegedly defrauding Santa Monica-based Lionsgate Entertainment out of $2 million in an advertising kickback scheme.

Santa Monica Farmers Market Manager Receives Award
March 26, 2012 -- Laura Avery, who has managed the Santa Monica Farmers Market for 30 years, has been awarded the Buy Fresh Buy Local award by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).

Santa Monica's Stairway of the Stars Honors Chandra Narain
March 23, 2012 -- This year, the Santa Monica - Malibu School District will make an exception when it presents its Stairway Honor Award, bucking the tradition of choosing an artist.
But if an exception is being made, the honoree at the 63rd Stairway of the Stars this Thursday and Friday, district officials agree, is exceptional.

Bergamot Art Center Redevelopment Gets Moving
March 23, 2012 -- The City Council early Wednesday morning voted to start the process to redevelop the Bergamot Art Center, Santa Monica's last major arts district and what will soon be the Expo Line's first stop in the beachside city.

Cultivating Compassion in Santa Monica
March 23, 2012 -- Compassion will be the theme of a month-long series of events at the Fairview Branch of the Santa Monica Public Library.

Santa Monica's Chain Reaction Gets Reprieve
March 22, 2012 -- Santa Monica's "Chain Reaction" sculpture will remain standing for at least another eight months after the City Council voted unanimously to allow local activists and community members a chance to raise funds to preserve the iconic art work.

Santa Monica Massage Technician Sentenced for Sexual Assault
March 22, 2012 -- Santa Monica police are seeking possible victims of a massage technician who was sentenced to six months in jail last week and must register as a sexual offender after sexually assaulting a client.

Saint John's Announces New Sports Medicine Center in Santa Monica
March 22, 2012 -- Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will create a state-of-the-art orthopedic and sports medicine center that will provide quality care from treatment to rehabilitation, hospital officials announced this month.

Santa Monica Spends Earthquake Plum on Ritzy Projects
March 22, 2012 --In an article in the LA Weekly, Lookout editor Jorge Casuso looks at how Santa Monica spent earthquake funds to purchase land, build housing and create parks and other public projects. 

City Council Approves Living Wage for Proposed Santa Monica Hotel
March 21, 2012 -- The development agreement for a new hotel expected to revitalize the northeastern edge of Santa Monica's Downtown barely squeaked by a City Council divided over the question of wage rates for hotel workers.

Santa Monica Amends Farmers Market Regulations, Buys Land for Corporate Yards
March 21, 2012 -- The City Council Tuesday night clarified the process by which participants can be suspended from the Framers Market and purchased land for the expansion of its Corporation Yards.

Santa Monica Music Teacher Receives Prestigious BRAVO Award
March 21, 2012 --Santa Monica High School choral director Jeffe Huls has been awarded one of the Music Center's prestigious 30th Annual BRAVO Awards for 2012.

Tree Hugging Day Sets Roots in Santa Monica
March 20, 2012 -- "How does a tree get on the Internet?" a tree hugger asked as the crowd waited for their leader to return.

Santa Monica School Board Boosts Permit Student Enrollment
March 20, 2012 -- After a month of discussions, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District voted last week to end a moratorium on new inter-district permits and raise the cap of new non-resident students who can attend local schools from 200 to 300.

Santa Monica's Meals on Wheels Rolls in $16,000
March 20, 2012 -- RoseMary Regalbuto is not one to let a “brandable” moment pass her by. The president and CEO of Meals on Wheels West in Santa Monica, ran again in Sunday’s Honda LA Marathon to benefit her nonprofit.

Honda LA Marathon Finishes In Santa Monica Under Sunny Skies
March 19, 2012 -- The 27th edition of the Honda LA Marathon (formerly the City of Los Angeles Marathon) ended in Santa Monica under unexpectedly clear, blue skies Sunday, with a crowd on hand to welcome the finishers at the pier.

Planning Commission Supports More Developers Fees
March 19, 2012 -- Developers would face some of the highest transportation mitigation fees in the region if Santa Monica adopts a staff proposal approved by the Planning Commission last week.

Motorcyclist Involved in Santa Monica Accident Dies
March 19, 2012 -- A 22-year-old motorcyclist struck on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica last month died last Monday as a result of his injuries, police said.

“Stairway of the Stars” Concert in Santa Monica this Week
March 19, 2012 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will showcase its musical talents Thursday and Friday at the 63rd Annual Stairway of the Stars concert at the Civic Auditorium.

Santa Monica Prepares for Rainy LA Marathon
March 16, 2012 -- As southern California braces for a late winter storm this weekend, Honda L.A. Marathon planners are preparing for a repeat of last year's soggy race while Santa Monica canceled its Buy Local expo.

Santa Monica’s Wearin’ O’ the Green this St. Patrick’s Day
March 14, 2012 -- Whether your name is O’Toole, Moskovitz or Ibrahim, Santa Monica will offer plenty of opportunity to get your Irish this weekend, with a number of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations around the city.

Santa Monica “Buy Local” Expo Postponed
March 16, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s “Buy Local” Expo, scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed due to the storm scheduled to blow in that morning.

Santa Monica-based RAND Launches First Private Venture
March 15, 2012 -- For the first time in its 64-year history, the Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation will launch a company to apply its technology research for commercial application.

“Whitey” Bulger's Girlfriend Pleads Guilty, Notes May Reveal Mob Boss' Life on the Lam in Santa Monica
March 15, 2012 -- The girlfriend of James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded guilty Wednesday to helping the mob boss evade capture for 16 years.

Santa Monica's 2nd Annual Buy Local Weekend Primed for Fun
March 15, 2012 -- The second annual “Buy Local Weekend” rolls out Saturday on Santa Monica's Promenade with more than 80 local vendors and food booths, live music, entertainment on two stages and community leaders who can explain exactly how buying local will improve your life.

Reasons to Love the Bergamot Transit Center Project
March 15, 2012 --I would like to state my brief comment in response to the article "Santa Monica Coalition Fires Legal Missive Opposing Bergamot Project published on March 13, 2012

Landmarks Commission to Stand Up for Iconic Santa Monica Sculpture
March 14, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Landmarks Commission went to bat for the “Chain Reaction” sculpture Monday night, hoping to buy time for a donor to salvage the iconic work.

Navigating Santa Monica on Marathon Sunday
March 14, 2011 -- Tens of thousands of runners, and scores of visitors and fans, will descend on Santa Monica for the final leg of Sunday's Third Annual LA Marathon to the Sea, which starts at Dodger Stadium and finishes on Ocean Avenue near the pier.

Santa Monica Airport Hosts ArtWalk Saturday
March 14, 2012 -- If you've ever wanted to see how artists work or let your own creativity take flight, take a stroll through Santa Monica Airport Saturday for the annual ArtWalk.

Santa Monica Coalition Fires Legal Missive Opposing Bergamot Project
March 13, 2012 -- Attorneys for the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) on Monday submitted a 26-page letter to City Planning officials outlining the group's objections to the Bergamot Village Transit Center Project.

Santa Monica College Hammers Out Plan to Save Classes
March 13, 2012 -- As the State pulls funding for higher education, Santa Monica College may have found a solution some are finding controversial.

Santa Monica Offers Wet Workouts and Fitness Swim Free Through Sunday
March 13, 2012 -- Community members 16 and older have until Sunday to try the Santa Monica Swim Center's Wet Workouts and Adult Fitness Swim Classes for free during Active Santa Monica week.

Opposition to Santa Monica Transit Center Project Grows
March 12, 2012 -- Opposition to a major commercial development at the old Papermate site in Santa Monica is growing, with leaders from five neighboring communities joining to oppose the Bergamot Village Transit Center Project on Olympic Boulevard.

Santa Monica Agency Head Runs for a Meal
March 12, 2012 -- Although her name is usually associated with wheels, RoseMary Regalbuto will be walking next Sunday to raise money to feed the homebound elderly.

Santa Monica Trailer Park Slowly Disappears
March 9, 2012 -- The sun is setting on one of Santa Monica's two last remaining trailer parks, with units being demolished to pave the way for a new 350-unit residential project.

A Santa Monica Landmark Journeys Back to the Future
March 9, 2012 -- A building on Main Street that has long housed one of the oddest collections of futuristic artifacts in Southern California is scheduled to be officially certified as a Santa Monica landmark Monday night.

St. Monica Gets All Shook Up
March 9, 2012 -- St. Monica will step back into the fifties this weekend with a student musical that pays tribute to Elvis Presley and his music.

Strolling Through Raymond Chandler's Santa Monica
March 8, 2012 -- Seventy-five years after Raymond Chandler immortalized Santa Monica as “Bay City,” it might be hard to find “women who should be young, but have faces like stale beer,” or “ratty hotels where nobody except people named Smith and Jones register."

A Sign of Change on Santa Monica's Promenade
March 8, 2012 -- On Monday, the Architectural Review Board approved a temporary sign to be placed outside Tesla's new showroom in Santa Monica, a visible sign that the first auto showroom on the Promenade  is on its way.

Santa Monica Celebrates Women This Month
March 8, 2012 -- You would be mistaken if you thought Arcadia Bandini de Baker was only known as being the women behind the successful co-founder of Santa Monica.

Santa Monica School District Will Get $17 Million Back. But Who Will Pay?
March 7, 2012 -- The State of California has ceased payments to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) in anticipation of Redevelopment money returning to the schools.

Santa Monica Pier Gets All-Star Board
March 7, 2012 -- Some of Santa Monica's top Civic leaders of the past two decades -- including three former City Department heads, a former mayor and the head of the city's tourism bureau -- have been elected to sit on what until now has been a relatively obscure board.

Santa Monica's 6th Annual Unity Resource Festival to Celebrate Cultural Diversity Sunday
March 7, 2012 -- Santa Monica's 6th Annual Unity Resource Festival will celebrate the beachside city's diverse cultures Sunday through music, dance and culinary arts.

Santa Monica City Clerk Announces Retirement
March 6, 2012 -- After keeping Santa Monica's legislative records, managing a dozen elections and attending and summarizing nearly every City Council meeting for almost two decades, Santa Monica City Clerk Maria Stewart is stepping down.

Malibu Faces Lengthy Process to Break from Santa Monica
March 6, 2012 -- Malibu's secession from the School District will take a lengthy process that ultimately will hinge on finances and a decision by state officials on whether to bring the plan before the voters of Santa Monica and Malibu, the School Board learned last week.

Orange County Financial Advisor Charged with Murder of Santa Monica Man
March 6, 2012 -- Daniel Edward Becerril II, owner of the Huntington Beach-based AP Financial Group, was charged Monday with the 2008 murder of Santa Monica artist Alexander Merman, as well as with money-laundering and grand theft.

Neighbors Worry About Proposed Grocery Store in Santa Monica
March 5, 2012 -- More than 80 Santa Monica residents crammed into the small Douglas Park Club House Thursday to air their concerns about a proposed Fresh & Easy Market in the Mid City Neighborhood.

Santa Monica Red Cross Gets New CEO
March 5, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Red Cross has hired a top official of a Boston homeless services agency to become the organization's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Police Arrest Financial Advisor in 2008 Murder
March 2, 2012 -- A four-year-long investigation into the killing of a Russia-born school teacher in Santa Monica led to the arrest for murder Thursday of the victim's financial advisor and uncovered a complex murder-for-profit scheme, Santa Monica Police announced Friday.

Downtown Santa Monica Plan Becoming More Specific
March 2. 2012 -- The Downtown Specific Plan -- which could transform the heart of the beachside city -- is beginning to take shape as themes and patterns have begun to emerge, staff told the City Council Tuesday night.

Plaintiffs Challenge Santa Monica's Settlement in Parking Citation Case
March 2, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council jumped the gun Tuesday when it voted to settle a lawsuit charging that the City failed to explain why appeals of parking citations are denied, the plaintiff's said.

SMC Presents Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series
March 2, 2012 -- Immune cells to fight cancer, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s influence on science and oceans in peril are the topics of an upcoming lecture series that kicks off this month at Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Council Delays Vote on Holiday Displays
March 1, 2012 -- The fate of Santa Monica's famous Nativity scenes in Palisades Park, a 60-year tradition, remains undecided after the City Council decided to continue discussion of an ordinance banning all unattended displays from the park Tuesday.

Four Sentenced in 2009 Santa Monica Slaying
March 1, 2012 -- Four alleged gang members who gunned down a 20-year-old Santa Monica man at Virginia Avenue Park in 2009 have been sentenced and could serve life terms, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Santa Monica Police Continue Campaign to Curb Pedestrian Accidents
March 1, 2012 -- During March, Santa Monica Police will target vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk as part of an ongoing campaign to curb pedestrian accidents.
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