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

Santa Monica Opposes State Changes to Energy Rights
May 30, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to oppose a California bill that would make it harder for cities to provide clean and cheap forms of power to their constituents.

State Assembly Passes Bloom’s Redevelopment Bill
May 30, 2014 --Funding pulled from redevelopment projects to help balance the State budget moved a step closer to being restored, after a bill introduced by former Santa Monica Mayor  Richard Bloom was approved by the State Assembly this week.

Santa Monica Transit Agency Hires Top Officials
May 30, 2014 – Santa Monica has hired two top transit officials to help run and promote the City’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) as the bayside city prepares for the arrival of the Expo Light Rail line.

EXCLUSIVE: Offer Rescinded to Political Activist for Santa Monica’s Top Communications Job
May 29, 2014 -- Past political activities might have doomed the City of Santa Monica’s newly hired public affairs and communications officer, The Lookout has learned.

Santa Monica City Council Approves $2 Million in Expenditures
May 29, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved approximately $2 million in expenditures Tuesday to treat water, enhance the neighborhood around a future rail stop and purchase natural gas vehicles, among other expenses.

Library Announces Science-themed Summer Reading Program
May 29, 2014 – The Santa Monica Public Library is inviting children, teens and parents to participate in its annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) starting on June 4, where participants can earn prizes for the amount of time they spend reading.

Congressional Fundraising Race Heats Up in Santa Monica District
May 28, 2014 -- As the primary race to replace retiring U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman enters its final week, candidates are counting on campaign contributions that have been quickly adding up.

Santa Monica College Partners in Unprecedented Master’s Degree Program
May 28, 2014 -- For years, Santa Monica College has been the top community college in the State for transfers. Now, thanks to “an unprecedented opportunity,” students can embark on a direct path to a Master’s Degree.

Santa Monica Summer Concert Series Will Tone Down This Year
May 28, 2014 -- You won’t find any big-name headliners like Los Lobos, Eddie Palmieri or Joan Baez at the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Dance series this summer after the City Council directed staff to attract more manageable crowds.

Special Interests Bring Big Money to Senate Campaign
May 27, 2014 -- Santa Monica’s next representative in the State Senate will be determined by more than the campaign efforts of the seven Democrats and one independent running for the seat. Financial statements released this week show nearly $1 million has been spent to promote four of the competitors by people and groups not working directly with those candidates.

Santa Monica Leaders Wary of Proposed Medical Marijuana Initiative
May 27, 2014 -- Days after the surprise filing of an initiative that would allow and regulate two medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica, experts and community leaders are wary of its goals.

Santa Monica College Presents June Concerts
May 27, 2014 -- Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Music Department will host a series of spring concerts in June that include a fully staged production of “Luisa Fernanda,” one of the 20th century’s great zarzuelas, or Spanish operas.

Shriver Campaign Nears $2 Million Mark, with $1 Million in Personal Contributions
May 23, 2014 -- Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver has raised nearly $1.9 million for his bid for 3rd District County Supervisor thanks to personal contributions totaling some $1 million, according to his campaign.

Santa Monica to Look for Earthquake-vulnerable Buildings
May 23, 2014 -- When the 1994 Northridge earthquake battered Santa Monica, it damaged some 1,600 housing units. Two decades later, City officials are looking to identify the remaining buildings that could be vulnerable when the next big temblor hits.

Memorial Day Event to Feature Commemorative Wall Unveiling
May 23, 2014 -- A monument dedicated to Santa Monica residents and others associated with the city who died in combat since the municipality’s founding in 1875 will be unveiled Monday at the 76th annual Memorial Day ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Medical Marijuana Proponents File for an Initiative
May 22, 2014 -- Proponents of medical marijuana plan to circulate a petition for a ballot measure that would regulate dispensaries in Santa Monica.

Slower Traffic Could Be Coming to Santa Monica
May 22, 2014 -- Santa Monica residents and visitors as well as those just passing through might have to go easier on the gas pedal. City staff has proposed a reduction to the speed limit for six segments of the city and setting a 15 mph maximum for 18 areas near local schools on days they are in session.

Santa Monica’s Pacific Park Gets $500,000 in Upgrades
May 22, 2014 --  Pacific Park has completed $500,000 in upgrades to shops and amenities designed to “create a unique experience all while playing over the Pacific Ocean,” amusement park officials announced this week.

Major Seats on the Line in June 3 Election
May 21, 2014 -- With the voter registration deadline passing on Monday, candidates running for several major County, States and Federal seats are hitting the final stretch toward the June 3 Primary Election. At stake is a seat as a County supervisor that has been occupied by the same man for 20 years and another for a U.S. House seat that has been occupied by the same man for nearly 40 years.

Santa Monica Arts Advocates Take Part in Presidential Program
May 21, 2014 -- Santa Monica arts education advocates Frank Gehry and Malissa Feruzzi Shriver took part in the expansion of President Barack Obama’s “Turnaround Arts” program during its Tuesday launch event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

Santa Monica Rotary Club Awards 14 Scholarships
May 21, 2014 -- Fourteen students from four middle schools, four high schools and Santa Monica College were recognized at the 2014 Rotary Club of Santa Monica scholarship awards luncheon on Friday.

Pro-Shriver Super PACs Have Raised Nearly $200,000
May 20, 2014 -- In addition to the $850,000 in donations reported by Bobby Shriver’s campaign, the former Santa Monica Mayor can count on the support of two Independent Expenditure Committees (IEs) in his June 3 bid for County Supervisor.

City’s Budget Forecast Improves, Staff Says
May 20, 2014 -- The Santa Monica government’s financial future could be better than City staff had previously projected, according to the latest report that will be presented to the City Council at its Tuesday meeting next week.

Santa Monica’s McKinley Elementary Welcomes New Principal
May 20, 2014 -- A principal who oversaw large gains in test scores among challenging students in a Northern California School District has been hired to head McKinley Elementary.

Opposition Mounts to Santa Monica Airport Ballot Initiative
May 19, 2014 -- A proposed ballot initiative by Santa Monica Airport supporters is facing  mounting opposition on the legal, political and grassroots fronts.

School Board Looks Into DoubleTree Lease
May 19, 2014 -- On Thursday, the School Board heard testimony alleging that the Santa Monica DoubleTree Hotel, which sits on School District property, owes back money in rent and is violating labor laws.

Santa Monica Fire Department Working Overtime
May 19, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) has been busy the past couple of days, putting out a fire last Thursday in Santa Monica and fighting wildfires in San Diego.

Santa Monica Democrats Back Allen and Bloom
May 16, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsed School board member Ben Allen and former Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom for State Senate and Assembly respectively Wednesday night, three weeks before the June 3 California primary election.

City Raises Trash Fees, Eliminates Some Red Tape
May 16, 2014 -- Actions taken by the City Council on Tuesday will lead to higher trash service fees and fewer permit requirements for doing certain types of business in Santa Monica. Both measures were approved by unanimous votes.

Minimum Wage Raised for City Employees
May 16, 2014 -- The City of Santa Monica’s lowest-paid employees will get a raise this summer. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to increase the City’s minimum wage from $14.08 per hour to $15.37 per hour, effective July 1.

Letter- Richard Bloom Responds to Hines Repeal

Slow Growth Advocates Claim Victory in Battle Over Controversial Santa Monica Development
May 15, 2014 -- Santa Monica’s slow growth advocates on Wednesday said that the City Council’s vote to repeal a controversial development agreement Tuesday night should send a clear signal that their will can no longer be ignored.

City Council Pushes for New Airport Initiative
May 15, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council is preparing to combat the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association (AOPA)-backed ballot initiative drive with a ballot measure of its own.

Foundation Event Raises Nearly $125,000 for Santa Monica-Malibu Schools
May 16, 2014 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) raised nearly $125,000 at its inaugural fundraising event last month, foundation officials announced Wednesday.

Extra!Council Repeals Approval of Controversial Development
May 14, 2014 -- A controversial agreement for a mixed-use development approved by the City Council earlier this year will not go forward after the council voted Tuesday night to rescind its decision. The vote came after the City was presented with a resident-signed petition, and the council had the option of either rescinding its approval or bringing the question to the voters in an election. Four council members voted for the repeal, one opposed it and two abstained.

More than 200 Protest Santa Monica Development Outside City Hall
May 14, 2014 -- After an exceedingly hot day, more than 200 Santa Monicans stood on the steps of City Hall Tuesday to urge the City Council to rescind a controversial mixed-use project they fear will snarl traffic at the eastern end of the city.

City Hires New Communications Officer
May 14, 2014 -- Longtime Santa Monica resident Elizabeth Riel -- who has masterminded media campaigns for major political and social issues -- has been chosen as the City’s new Public Affairs and Communications Officer, City officials announced Tuesday.

SMC Seeks Applicants for Bond Oversight Committee
May 14, 2014 -- Santa Monica College is seeking representatives of a taxpayers’ organization and the local business communities of Santa Monica and Malibu to serve on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, although applications for additional members are encouraged.

Santa Monica Visitors Bureau Hosts Tourism Summit
May 13, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) presented an update on the state of tourism in Santa Monica during its fifth annual Travel and Tourism Summit on Friday at the Miramar Hotel.

Residents Protest Trash Fee Hikes
May 13, 2014 -- A public hearing on raising trash fees in Santa Monica for the first time in nearly a decade could be a formality because the City Council already voted for the increase in concept earlier this year, but some residents might speak in opposition at the Tuesday night session.

Website Provides Santa Monica Election Information
May 13, 2014 -- It’s election season in the City of Santa Monica and while voters won’t be heading to the polls until Nov. 4, CityTV and the City Clerk’s Office have launched a new service to help Santa Monicans stay informed on the issues.

Third Street Promenade Turns 25
May 12, 2014 -- The historic entertainment and shopping complex that turned Downtown Santa Monica into a tourist destination will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of events and celebrations throughout the summer.

City Council to Consider $1 Million in Expenditures
May 12, 2014 -- In a meeting where most of the attention will be on the fate of the Hines development project at Bergamot Transit Village, the Santa Monica City Council is expected to approve approximately $1 million in expenditures Tuesday when it votes on the consent calendar portion of the agenda.

Films by Teens Featured at Festival
May 12, 2014 -- Young people from the area and throughout the world will flex their cinematic muscle at the ninth annual Santa Monica Teen Film Festival, which will take place June 7 and 8 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse and the main public library.

City Could Repeal Regulations on Bingo, Dance Halls
May 9, 2014 -- Regulations tackling issues such as who can host Bingo games and whether dance halls can feature “suggestive or unusual dancing” could soon be removed from the Santa Monica Municipal Code.

Planning Commissioner to Announce Bid for City Council
May 9, 2014 -- Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon will formally announce his candidacy for the City Council on Friday evening during a campaign launch party, making him the fourth individual to enter what will likely be a long and heated race.

Santa Monica College Trustee Elected President of State Board
May 9, 2014 -- A member of the Santa Monica College (SMC) Board of Trustees and a longtime supporter of Santa Monica’s educational institutions has been elected president of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT).

Community Meets with Bergamot Arts Center Developers
May 8, 2014 -- More than 200 Santa Monica residents packed a community meeting hosted by the City Tuesday night to discuss three development plans proposed for the Bergamot Arts Center.

Resident Told to Cut 40-Foot Hedge
May 8, 2014 -- The Santa Monica neighbors of former State Treasurer and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides must reduce the size of their 40-foot hedge or take their case to a courtroom.

Pacific Park Offers Moms a Free Ride
May 8, 2014 -- Moms will have a chance to have a picture perfect Mother’s Day at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday.

After Nearly Two Decades Stalled Santa Monica Apartment Still Unfinished
May 7, 2014 -- For nine years, Jesse Singer has lived two houses down from an abandoned half-finished building that has been a conspicuous eyesore on a leafy Santa Monica street near the eastern edge of the city.

City Releases Studies on Santa Monica Youth
May 7, 2014 -- While preschool, after school programs and high school graduation rates are considered exceptional, the greatest obstacle to youth in Santa Monica are depression, alcohol abuse, and the lack of language arts proficiency, according to two studies commissioned by the City of Santa Monica.

Jacaranda Caps Season with Popular Composers Past and Present
May 7, 2014 -- Santa Monica’s Jacaranda concert series will wrap up its season by helping to keep Arvo Pärt the world’s most performed contemporary composer.

Santa Monica Residents Check Out New Pico Library
May 6, 2014 -- The front façade is white with black dots, with the words “Pico Branch Library” written in green letters.  Green awnings line the sides of the building, giving shade for the patrons sitting on the stone benches outside.

OPCC Celebrates 50 Years of Helping People
May 6, 2014 -- The Westside’s oldest and largest organization serving the homeless, low-income people and others in need is planning a fall reunion for volunteers, staff and clients who have worked with OPCC during its half-century of existence.

Santa Monica College Presents May Concerts
May 6, 2014 -- Featuring jazz, blues, strings and vocals, Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Music Department will host a series of spring concerts in May that include a benefit performance to support SMC’s acclaimed Applied Music Program.

Initiative Talk
May 6, 2014 -- As we celebrate our victory of getting a referendum certified, I want to point out that there’s another tool in our tool box that we have started to consider.  It’s called an initiative.

Residocracy Vies to Become Political Force in Santa Monica
May 5, 2014 -- The Internet-based slow growth group announced plans Thursday to become a major political force in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica -- Malibu District Schools Receive State Honor
May 5, 2014 -- School District officials announced Friday that two elementary schools in Santa Monica and two in Malibu have received the California Distinguished School honor for 2014.

Santa Monica College Symposium Celebrates the Arts
May 5, 2014 -- The role of art in civic life will be the topic of the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) 3rd Annual Spring Symposium.

Pico Neighborhood Group Annexes Downtown Santa Monica, Civic Center
May 2, 2014 -- The Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA) has voted to expand its boundaries from the historically Latino and African-American neighborhood to encompass part of Downtown Santa Monica and the Civic Center area.

Santa Monica Assembly Member’s Redevelopment Bill Moves Forward
May 2, 2014 -- A Bill introduced to the California Assembly by Santa Monica Assembly member Richard Bloom that would free up redevelopment funds passed the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development on Wednesday.

Malissa Feruzzi Shriver Wins National Arts Education Award
May 2, 2014 -- The nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts announced on Thursday that Santa Monica resident Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, former chair of the California Arts Council, will receive its 2014 Arts Education Award.

Santa Monica Airport Referendum Steeped in Controversy
May 1, 2014 -- Proponents of placing a measure on the ballot to keep the Santa Monica Airport open have hired a firm to gather signatures that has been embroiled in controversy.

Community to Weigh in on Future of Santa Monica Arts Center
May 1, 2014 -- City officials will unveil three proposals next week to develop the site of the Bergamot Station Arts Center across the street from a controversial project that is the subject of a referendum.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Grad Rates Continue to Climb
May 1, 2014 -- District officials celebrated the Santa Monica and Malibu schools’ “remarkable” 2013 graduation rate Tuesday.

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