archiveSanta Monica Lookoutline
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- July 2014

SMRR Endorsees Rarely Lose in Santa Monica Elections
July 31, 2014 -- Election Day in Santa Monica is three months away, but the results could be settled this Sunday when the powerful political group Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) makes its endorsements at the convention taking place at John Adams Middle School.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus to Change Routes and Schedules
July 31, 2014 –Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus this week announced changes to two of its most popular lines in order to improve service by splitting routes, discontinuing stops and switching drivers more often.

Syrian Artist Headlines Thursday Santa Monica Twilight Concert
July 31, 2014 – Syrian folk electronica artist Omar Souleyman – whose sound changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East – will headline the summer’s fourth Twilight Concert Thursday on the Santa Monica Pier.

Council Candidates Face Tough Questions at Slow-Growth Forum
July 30, 2014 -- In the first candidates forum of the 2014 election season, 13 people running for three seats on the City Council answered numerous questions Monday night from the slow-growth group Residocracy concerning controversial topics such as development and pony rides.

City Officials and Community Members Differ on Park Program’s Effectiveness
July 30, 2014 -- A 2013 Santa Monica ordinance regulating commercial fitness and athletic classes or camps is being viewed by City officials as a successful way to reduce impact on public space and creating a better balance of park and beach uses, according to a July 24 report to the City Council.

Carr Ahead of Lieu in Fundraising for Congressional Race
July 30, 2014 --In the contest to replace U.S. Congressman and Democratic stalwart Henry Waxman, Republican attorney Elan Carr is attracting money from all over the country as he battles against Democrat and front-runner state Sen. Ted Lieu to represent the district that includes Santa Monica.

Airport Supporters Raise Over $260,000 for Ballot Battle
July 29, 2014 -- Supporters of a ballot measure that, if approved, would limit City Council control of the Santa Monica Airport have hit the ground running by raising more than a quarter of a million dollars for their campaign, according to a disclosure statement filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Political Groups Undergo Endorsement Process
July 29, 2014 -- Major Santa Monica political groups are determining this week who to support in the November election. UNITE HERE Local 11 and Santa Monicans for Renter's Rights (SMRR) are interviewing candidates. Residocracy held a candidates forum Monday evening.

Tour da Arts’ Combines Diversity in Art with Cycling
July 29, 2014 -- More than 100 cyclists of all ages have pre-registered to explore art, music and theatre at the sixth annual Tour da Arts. It is a free nine-mile bike ride hosted by the Santa Monica Museum of Modern Art that will take place Aug. 24 at noon.

Santa Monica Council Extends Interim Zoning Ordinance
July 28, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday extended for another year the Interim Zoning Ordinance (IZO) approved in 2011 while the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) ordinance is completed.

Santa Monica to Transfer Property for Affordable Housing
July 28, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council unanimously supported the transfer of ownership of two currently occupied, City-owned apartment buildings to competing nonprofit affordable housing organizations during its Thursday meeting.

Explore Ray Bradbury’s Vast Universe of Knowledge at the Santa Monica Public Library  
July 28, 2014 -- Colonization, illegal immigration and the clash of cultures. These are not only current hot-button issues, they’re themes explored by Ray Bradbury in his science fiction stories.

Santa Monica Tax Hike Opponents Say Measure Will Lead to Massive Development
July 25, 2014 -- Is the real estate tax increase proposal on the November ballot an opportunity to fund affordable housing programs in Santa Monica, or is it a contrived attempt at “over-development”?

Gang Member Convicted in Santa Monica Murders to Spend Life in Prison
July 25, 2014 --  Convicted killer William Vasquez will have to spend the rest of his life in prison after the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied to review the case against him for the murder of five victims, including two in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Pier to Offer Historical Walking Tours
July 25, 2014 -- Q: What do Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Muscle Beach and Popeye have in common? A: The Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Voters to Choose Between Competing Airport Ballot Measures
July 24, 2014 – After hearing from 20 members of the public, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to place competing measures prescribing the future of the Airport on the November ballot during its meeting Tuesday.

New Software to Make Santa Monica Data Easier to Access
July 24, 2014 -- Starting next month, the City of Santa Monica will launch new software that allows users to pinpoint everything from crime on their blocks to projects that will improve their streets.

Santa Monica Natives to Headline Thursday Twilight Concert
July 24, 2014 – Santa Monica’s own indie beach rock band Cayucas will be co-headlining the third concert in Santa Monica’s 30th annual Twilight Concert series Thursday on the Santa Monica Pier. The LA-based group Papa will open the concert at 7 p.m..

Review -- Art Comes Alive at the Pageant of the Masters
July 24, 2014 -- The stage went black, and when the lights flashed back on, George Washington appeared two dimensional. The actor portraying the first president became a still art piece.

Former County Supervisor Candidate Calls Democratic Club Un-Democratic
July 23, 2013 -- Pamela Conley Ulich might have been forced out of the county supervisor race when she failed to become one of the top two vote-getters in last month’s primary election, but the former Malibu mayor is not staying quiet about the contest.

Santa Monica Gets $2 million Grant for New Park
July 23, 2014 -- Santa Monica's Community and Cultural Services Department announced on Tuesday that the City has received a $2.1 million grant to build a park near the new Expo Rail line

Santa Monica Approves $9 million Consent Calendar
July 23, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved more than $9 million in expenses Tuesday, including funding to repave roads and install new elevators in public parking structures.

McKeown Backs Two Challengers as He Seeks Fifth Santa Monica Council Term
July 22, 2014 -- Four-term Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown wants to serve at least another four years on the dais and he would like two planning commissioners to join him.

Sony Santa Monica Moves to Playa Vista
July 22, 2014 – The Santa Monica-based video game developer that produced the popular “God of War” franchise as well as a number of cult hits began moving its studio to neighboring Playa Vista Monday.

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park Offers July Cultural Programming 
July 22, 2014 – The latest addition to the Santa Monica Parks system will be offering two unique events in July, continuing its ongoing first season of cultural programming for the community.

Daniel Archuleta, managing editor of the Santa Monica Daily Press, died Wednesday morning. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and the staff at the newspaper he shared his life with for the past seven years. Daniel is survived by his wife, Gali, and two young daughters, Lila and Gaby, and a large, loving family. The Daily Press respectfully asks our Santa Monica community to help by donating to a fund set up to assist Daniel’s family through this difficult time.
To donate visit:

Pico Youth and Family Center Fights to Keep Doors Open
July 21, 2014 – On the storefront of the Pico Youth and Family Center in Santa Monica, beside iconic images of Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez, is a board that reads: “Burritos, $3.”

Tenant Harassment Complaints Up in Santa Monica
July 21, 2014 -- The number of tenant harassment complaints in Santa Monica has almost doubled since 2009 due to rising rents and increased tenant awareness, according to a staff report that will be presented to the City Council Tuesday.

Review- Taste Deals and Celebrity Sightings on dineLA Menu in Santa Monica
July 21, 2014 -- Gently grilled calamari with a lemony vinaigrette over fresh arugula was the highlight of our dineLA lunch at One Pico in Santa Monica. But I must admit that the celebrity sightings were fun, too.

Santa Monica Offers Free Jazz Series in August
July 21, 2014 -- Every Sunday in August, audiences can while away the lazy late afternoons with free music at Santa Monica’s ninth annual “Jazz on the Lawn” series at Stewart Street Park.

Santa Monica Could Ration Water, Impose Restrictions
July 18, 2014 – Santa Monica could soon begin rationing water and restricting when lawns can be watered, how cars can be washed and which customers are served water at restaurants.

Pro-Airport Initiative Qualifies, Sets up Ballot Measure Duel
July 18, 2014 -- Both major sides of the Santa Monica Airport debate fired off press releases Thursday afternoon after word came out that a measure backed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had qualified for the November ballot. The City Council is expected to approve a competing measure on Tuesday.

Former Dictator Sues Santa Monica-Based Video Game Maker
July 18, 2014 -- Former Panama Dictator Manuel Noriega filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard Inc. for using his likeness and name in the company’s popular “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” without his permission.

Letter to the Editor- BBB Misrepresented Bus Stops
July 18, 2014 --To those of us who live in or frequent Santa Monica, the point of the lily-pad benches was crystal clear, to eliminate instances of the homeless sleeping on them and depriving riders of a seat.  BBB officials have been quite candid about this: “The pod seating is part of the new bus stop design which required a small footprint…and even a certain degree of discomfort for long time guests.” 

Latino Power Couple Running for Office in Santa Monica
July 17, 2014 – Oscar de la Torre and Maria Loya, one of the most politically active Latino couples in Santa Monica, both pulled papers to run for elected office Tuesday.

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center Ranked One of Best in Nation
July 17, 2014 -- The UCLA Health System's hospitals in Santa Monica and Westwood have been ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report, according to the magazine’s rankings released Tuesday.

Expo Lines Arrival Could Mean Big Changes for Bus System
July 17, 2014 -- Some Big Blue Bus routes could be eliminated and others could be adjusted as officials work out how to integrate the transportation system with the second phase of the Expo Line that is expected to begin bringing passengers from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica in early 2016.

Santa Monica Mayor’s Campaign Gains Establishment Support
July 16, 2014 – While her official campaign kick-off event is still to come, Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor is hitting the campaign trail, picking up some high profile endorsements from the area’s political establishment in her bid for reelection.

City Council OKs Renewal of Oil Pipeline Agreement
July 16, 2014 -- Crude petroleum will continue to flow through Santa Monica via an underground 10-inch pipeline for at least another 10 years. The City Council last week approved a new franchise agreement with Crimson California Pipeline for the oil carrier that has been in operation since 1941.

Thursday’s Santa Monica Pier Concert to Feature Rhythm and Blues
July 16, 2014 – Thousands of music lovers are expected to attend the second concert in Santa Monica’s 30th annual Twilight Concert Series this Thursday featuring Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna.

Santa Monica Coalition Makes Endorsements Four Months Before Election
July 15, 2014 – The slow growth group Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMLCLC) announced Monday they will back Councilmember Kevin McKeown and Planning Commissioners Sue Himmelrich and Richard McKinnon for three open City Council seats in November.

Stressed? Website Says That’s a Santa Monica Thing
July 15, 2014 -- Nearly three months after the blog section of the real estate website Movoto called Santa Monica one of the 25 most dangerous suburbs in the country, the site has placed this city at No. 2 on a list of “The 10 Most Stressed Out Suburbs In America.

Residocracy to Host Santa Monica Council Candidates Forum
July 15, 2014 – Voters will have a chance to hear from candidates aiming to win one of three open Santa Monica City Council seats in November’s election at a Candidate’s Forum this month.

Santa Monica Planning Commission Praises Proposed Downtown Project
July 14, 2014 -- A seven-story mixed-used development project in Downtown Santa Monica that exceeds current density standards won the unanimous support of the Planning Commission Wednesday.

Santa Monica Consumer Advocacy Group Goes After Anthem Blue Cross
July 14, 2014 – The Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog is taking one of the state’s biggest insurance companies to court for fraud, according to a class action lawsuit filed last week.

Santa Monica Issues “Out is In” Challenge During National Parks and Rec Month
July 14, 2014 -- The City of Santa Monica is partnering with the National Recreation and Park Association for the “Out is In” challenge designed to promote outdoor activities – whether it’s working at the beach or lunching in the park.

Malibu Resident Announces Candidacy for School Board
July 11, 2014 -- Although two cities are included in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, no Malibu resident has sat on the Board of Education since 2008. Education activist Craig Foster hopes to change that situation by getting elected to the board in November.

Council Approves Three Housing Measures for November Ballot
July 11, 2014 -- In addition to voting on candidates for various local, County and State political offices as well as possibly two competing referendums on Santa Monica Airport, city voters will be asked to make decisions on three measures related to housing in the November election.

Anti-Airport Activist to Run for Santa Monica City Council
July 11, 2014 – Former Lookout Columnist Frank Gruber – a leading advocate of shutting down the Santa Monica Airport -- announced Wednesday that he will run for City Council in November.

Council Searches for Perfect Airport Ballot Measure
July 10, 2014 -- Santa Monica City Council members struggled Tuesday to craft a ballot measure regarding the future of Santa Monica Airport that would avoid tying the hands of City leaders while also appealing to a voting public wanting a say on land-use decisions for the 277-acre City-owned property.

Santa Monica Council Approves MINI Car Dealership, with a Cafe
July 10, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a development agreement for a proposed 33,400-square-foot MINI car dealership on Santa Monica Boulevard and 14th Street.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Changes Bus Stop Design
July 10, 2014 –Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) announced plans on Wednesday to add more comfortable seats and shade at their new bus stops, which have been widely criticized by riders.

Review - Museum’s Worth of Exhibits at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station
July 10, 2014 -- I am not a big art lover. While I enjoy an occasional visit to an art museum, I will pause at the Van Goghs and breeze by most of the modern exhibits. An annual pilgrimage to LACMA is enough for me.

SMRR Founder’s Involvement in Council Race Removes Him From Endorsement Process
July 9, 2014 -- When the steering committee of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) meets to talk about the City Council race, and possibly choose candidates to support, the co-founder of the powerful political group will not be involved.

Duran Endorses Shriver for LA County Supervisor
July 9, 2014 – Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver Tuesday won the backing of rival candidate John Duran in his hotly contested runoff against Sheila Kuehl for County Supervisor.

Indie Rock Groups Kick Off Santa Monica Pier Concert Series
July 9, 2014 – Santa Monica’s 30th annual Twilight Concert Series on the historic Pier will kick off  Thursday night with a night filled with Indie rock music.

City Seeks Shorter Time Frame on Oil Pipeline Deal
July 8, 2014 -- Continued operation of an underground pipeline that has been flowing crude oil through Santa Monica for nearly 75 years will be before the City Council on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Election Season to Officially Open Monday
July 8, 2014 -- Potential candidates can begin the nomination process for Santa Monica’s November 4 general election next Monday with a total of 14 seats up for grabs.

Santa Monica Council to Consider $1 million Consent Calendar
July 8, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council will consider nearly $1 million in expenses on Tuesday’s Consent Calendar, which includes a number of public works projects.

City Tackles Airport Property Development in Proposed Measure
July 7, 2014 -- Development on the 277-acre Santa Monica Airport property would be prohibited until the City Council approves a Specific Plan for the area crafted “through an inclusive public process,” if voters approve a City Charter amendment proposed by the municipal legal team.

Santa Monica Ballot Gets Crowded with Measures
July 7, 2014 – In addition to placing a measure on the ballot in November protecting Council authority over the airport, the Santa Monica City Council will consider including two other ballot measures during its meeting Tuesday.

Santa Monica College Awards 2014 Transfer Scholarship
July 7, 2014 -- Sierra McDonald -- a journalism major who plans to probe pressing issues in the black community -- has received Santa Monica College’s second annual Chui L. Tsang Transfer Scholarship.

Santa Monica Airport Proponents Gain Star Power in Complaint
July 4, 2014 – Santa Monica Airport tenants, along with national aviation advocacy groups, were joined in a federal complaint filed Wednesday against the City by none other than Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford.

Santa Monica to Celebrate Fourth of July with Parade, Light Show
July 4, 2014 -- Santa Monica will celebrate American Independence on the ground and in the air with an old-fashioned Fourth of July Parade and a state-of-the-art Ferris wheel light show at Pacific Park on the Pier.

E-Petitions Flood Santa Monica, But Are They Effective?
July 3, 2014 --. Seemingly overnight, the online petition, or e-petition, has become a popular method in Santa Monica, and across the nation, to influence those in power. But there is disagreement about the effectiveness of these campaigns.

As Shriver Caps Spending, Another Super Pac Steps In
July 3, 2014 – In his bid for County Supervisor, former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver has agreed to a $1.4 million spending cap, but will count of the support of a newly created Super Pac.

Santa Monica Fire Department Raises More than $12,000 After Toddler’s Tragic Death
July 3, 2014 -- The car accident that took Noah Looney’s life occurred during Battalion Chief Mark Bridges’s last shift before retiring from the Santa Monica Fire Department after 34 years.

Letter To The Editor - Re:Santa Monica Residents Cry Foul on Farmers Market Pony Rides

Santa Monica to Support Film Tax Credits
July 2, 2014 -- Elected officials from Santa Monica are acting to bring film production jobs back to California, boosting State revenues and benefiting those in the industry who work in the beachside city.

Santa Monica Meets Affordable Housing Requirements, But Dark Clouds Could Be Ahead
July 2, 2014 -- Of the 478 residential units produced in Santa Monica from July 2012 to June 2013, 246 are considered affordable, exceeding a voter-approved requirement for the amount of multi-family affordable housing that must be created annually.

Santa Monica College Planetarium to Explore Vast Universe
July 2, 2014 – Featuring deep-sky images of star clusters, planetary nebulae, and a bright supernova remnant, the Santa Monica College (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium is hosting a series of shows in July designed to inform the public of the vastness of the universe.

Santa Monica Residents Cry Foul on Farmers Market Pony Rides
July 1, 2014 – The battle over the pony rides at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street has won the backing of major political and civic leaders who have signed an e-petition  to shut down the popular Sunday attraction.

Commissioners Rip Denny’s Replacement Project
July 1, 2014 -- Kind words were not plentiful last Wednesday when members of the Planning Commission shared their opinions on the proposed design for a 103,000-square-foot mixed-use project that would replace a Denny’s on Lincoln Boulevard off Colorado Avenue.

Santa Monica Theater Troupe Brings Galileo to the Stage
July 1, 2014 – The Santa Monica Repertory Theater will perform a reading of Bertolt Brecht’s the “Life of Galileo” this month as part of a summer monthly series of play readings at the Santa Monica Public Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium.

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