archiveSanta Monica Lookout
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- April 2015

Santa Monica Moves to Ban Short-term Vacation Rentals
April 30, 2015 -- Concerned about the squeeze on its already stressed housing stock, the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday gave initial approval to a ban on short-term vacation rentals, and followed up with big penalties against those who ignore the new regulations.

Council OKs Election for New Tax Assessment District
April 30, 2015 -- Owners of Lincoln Boulevard businesses will get to decide if they want to pay more for extra services to handle expected influxes of foot traffic with the opening of the Expo Line.

Record  Votes Cast in Santa Monica’s Most Loved Local Business Contest
April 30, 2015 -- An art gallery with a gift shop selling only locally crafted wares, a surfboard shop and a cycle “pathic” fitness center were among the dozens of winners of Santa Monica’s second annual Most Loved contest, officials announced Tuesday.

Letter -- Malibu’s Enrollment Decline Due to Policies, not Demographics
April 28, 2015 -- An Open Letter to the SMMUSD Board of Education:
As members of the Malibu community, we are greatly troubled by the manner in which district officials have publicly addressed the enrollment decline in Malibu schools, characterizing the problem as “demographic“.

Attorney Claims “Super-Aggressive” Santa Monica Officers Roughed Up Client
April 29, 2015 -- An attorney for an African American man arrested on suspicion of refusing to leave a Santa Monica park when asked by officers is disputing the Police Department’s version of what happened, claiming police peppered-sprayed and needlessly used force to subdue his unresisting client.

Santa Monica Activists Urge City to Crack Down on Illegal Short-Term Rentals
April 29, 2015 -- Community activists representing Santa Monica renters and the union for local hotel workers gathered in front of City Hall Tuesday afternoon to urge the City Council to put a stop to the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals, saying the popular practice is squeezing renters out of the housing market.

Santa Monica Symposium Focuses on Public Health
April 29, 2015 -- Public health will be the focus of Santa Monica College’s fourth annual Spring Symposium next month, SMC officials announced.

New Study Pinpoints How Well Santa Monicans Feel About Living Here
April 28, 2015 -- Sure, the usual complaints about traffic congestion and the unaffordable housing surfaced.

Trustees Hire Firm to Find Next SMC President
April 28, 2015 -- A nationwide search for Santa Monica College’s next president has intensified with the hiring of a professional recruiting firm to find the right candidate.

Santa Monica Filmmaker Dies In Everest Avalanche
April 28, 2015 -- A Longtime Santa Monica resident and local documentary filmmaker was among 18 people reported killed in a Mount Everest avalanche triggered by this past weekend’s 7.8-magnitude quake in Nepal.

Downtown Santa Monica Businesses Could Vote on New Fees
April 27, 2015 -- In another sign Santa Monica is changing with light rail due to arrive early next year, City Council members are poised to authorize special elections for new tax assessments on properties near Expo Line stations to keep up with the expected wear and tear from thousands of commuters.

Emergency Eco-Lights Arrive in Santa Monica
April 27, 2015 -- They're powerful, completely silent and powered by a pollution-free energy source Santa Monica has in abundance, City officials say.

SMC’s Drescher Planetarium Unveils May Programming
April 27, 2015 -- Stargazers can view some of the moon’s landscapes and catch up on the latest in space exploration next month at Santa Monica College’s (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium, college officials announced last week.

Planning Commission Gives Final Approval to Controversial Santa Monica Apartment Complex
April 24, 2015 -- A proposal  fought by  neighbors to build a 10-unit apartment building on a vacant Santa Monica hillside was given the final go-ahead by the Planning Commission Wednesday, with several members expressing sympathy but arguing they could do little.

Santa Monica Officials Look to Crack Down on Illegal Short Term Rentals
April 24, 2015 -- With the number of illegal short-term vacation rentals in Santa Monica soaring, City officials are preparing to hire additional code enforcement officers to crack down on the problem.

Santa Monica Assemblyman Announces Earth Day Poster Awards
April 24, 2015 -- Student winners for the first annual Earth Day Poster Challenge were announced Thursday by Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom, with the grand prize going to a junior at T.C.A. Arshag Dickranian Armenian Art School in Los Angeles.

Measles Legislation by Santa Monica Lawmaker Clears Hurdle
April 23, 2015 -- A controversial bill co-authored by State Senator Ben Allen from Santa Monica that would prohibit most parents from opting out of vaccinations for the measles and other contagious diseases cleared a key hurdle Wednesday.

Santa Monica Monitoring Court Ruling on Tiered Water Rates
April 23, 2015 -- City officials will be closely watching to see if any appeals are filed in a court ruling this week that cast a legal cloud over Santa Monica’s tiered water rates.

League Sponsors Water Forum in Santa Monica
April 23, 2015 -- A representative from Southern California's largest water supplier will update Santa Monica residents on fast-evolving strategies for dealing with the drought this summer, the League of Women's Voters of Santa Monica announced.

Santa Monica Officials Report No Big Jams After Incline’s Closure
April 22, 2015 -- Predictions of another “Carmageddon” triggered by Monday’s closure of the historic California Incline bridge tuned out to be greatly exaggerated, with City officials reporting lighter-than-normal traffic on the first full day of the year-long closure.

Mock Party in Santa Monica Targets Underage Drinking
April 22, 2015 -- In the wake of a survey found that students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District far outpace their peers when it comes to binge drinking, local parents will get a first-hand look this weekend at exactly what goes on at a teenage drinking party.

Santa Monica Kiwanis Donate Funds for Park
April 22, 2015 -- A donation from local Kiwanis Club members will provide the final piece in the City’s plans for upgrading safety features and play areas at Ozone Park.

Residents’ Views Sought on Raising Minimum Wage
April 21, 2015 -- A public forum on raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles County -- the first of five being held and the nearest to Santa Monica -- will provide local residents Tuesday night with a chance to weigh in on the issue.

Santa Monica Seniors Can Apply for Tax Exemption
April 21, 2015 -- Residents in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will begin receiving forms that allow homeowners age 65 an older to apply for an exemption from the district’s annual property tax levy.

Santa Monica Opens the Yards to Visitors
April 21, 2015 -- Children who love “Bob, the Builder” will enjoy getting an up-close look at the Santa Monica Public Works Department’s machinery and equipment at the annual City Yards Open House next month, officials announced.

Pico Residents Praise New Zoning District, with Reservations
April 20, 2015 -- Pico residents are praising the Santa Monica City Council’s decision last week to create a new and separate zoning district for their neighborhood, a plan they had been pushing for months to anyone who would listen.

Santa Monica-Malibu District Names New Administrator
April 20, 2015 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education has promoted a longtime in-house employee to the job of director of human services.

Santa Monica College Student Journalists Earn Awards
April 20,2015 -- Student journalists who produce Santa Monica College’s (SMC) the Corsair newspaper won 18 awards, including five first place honors, at the 2015 Journalism Association of Community Colleges statewide convention this month, SMC officials announced.

Measles Bill by Santa Monica-Area Senator Stalls in Key Committee
April 17, 2015 -- Action temporarily stalled Wednesday on a bill co-authored by State Senator Ben Allen from Santa Monica that would prohibit most parents from opting out of vaccinations for the measles and other contagious diseases.

Construction of Controversial Apartment Building on Santa Monica Hillside Goes to Planning Commission
April 17, 2015 -- Construction of a controversial ten-unit apartment complex on a vacant hillside in Santa Monica goes before the Planning Commission next Wednesday -- and though it might be the final vote, neighborhood opponents say they aren’t finished.

SMC Celebrates Earth Week with Free Workshops
April 17, 2015 --Learn how to make your own natural sunscreen, build a bike generator, view native dance performances and more during Santa Monica College’s Earth Week celebration.

Residents Pack Hearing on Santa Monica's Zoning Ordinance
April 16, 2015 -- How big a city, how dense, how much housing and for whom? What rules should there be for historic buildings and new developments, parking lots, existing and future hotels, day care and activity centers, car dealerships and cell towers, not to mention pot shops?

“Wave” to Focus on Santa Monica's 'Chain Reaction'
April 16, 2015 -- Santa Monica's landmark “Chain Reaction” sculpture of a detonating A-bomb will be a local focal point of a global public action timed to the United Nation's five-year review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this month.

Santa Monica Museum of Art Moving to Century City
April 16, 2015 -- Struggling under a big rent bill and stymied in its efforts to find local replacement space, the Santa Monica Museum of Art is leaving its longtime home at Bergamot Station while it tries to determine its future.

Santa Monica Braces for Closures of California Incline Monday
April 15, 2015 -- With less than a week to go, motorists – along with local government officials -- are bracing for the year-long closure Monday of Santa Monica’s storied California Incline.

Santa Monica Water Supplier Slashes Deliveries
April 15, 2015 -- The governing board for Southern California’s main water wholesaler voted Tuesday to cut supplies to the more than two dozen cities and water agencies it serves, including Santa Monica.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board to Review Fundraising Program
April 15, 2015 -- School Board members are scheduled this week to review the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s centralized fundraising program. 

Santa Monica Lawmaker Pushes For Renewable Natural Gas
April 14, 2015 -- A bill by Santa Monica-area state Sen. Ben Allen that requires sellers of natural gas to switch to greener products has passed a key committee, his office announced.

Family’s Donation Helps Santa Monica College Students Study Abroad
April 14, 2015 -- Ten Santa Monica College students traveled to South Africa this past winter to study, thanks to the generosity of the family of a former faculty member, SMC officials announced.

Seniors’ Group to Honor Outgoing Santa Monica College President
April 14, 2015 -- Every year, Santa Monica-based WISE & Healthy Aging honors area professionals, caregivers and volunteers who help enrich the lives of seniors at the organization’s annual Celebration of Caring event.

Santa Monica Says No to New Valet Parking App
April 13, 2015 -- Published reports that Santa Monica now has a new app-based service that lets drivers  instantly summon a personal valet to park their cars anywhere they happen to be in the City are premature, City officials say.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Group Starts Online Petition to Stop Zoning Approval
April 13, 2015 -- With both sides girding for a battle, a new slow-growth advocacy group that has become a force in Santa Monica politics is calling on residents to sign an online petition protesting possible approval of the City’s proposed zoning ordinance update this week.

Landmark Commission to Review ‘Chain Reaction’ Testing
April 13, 2015 -- City Landmark Commission members Tuesday will review guidelines for testing the safety of Santa Monica’s historic “Chain Reaction” sculpture.

Santa Monica Replacing Buses For Expo Line
April 8, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s Big Blue Buses are too big to make the turns on one of the new routes to an Expo Light Rail station, so transit officials are asking the City to finalize the purchase of four shorter buses as part of a $19 million investment to replace some of BBB’s aging fleet.

Santa Monica Fire Chief To Leave For Murrieta
April 10, 2015 -- Santa Monica Fire Chief Scott Ferguson has announced he is leaving the city to lead the Murrieta Fire Department, saying he wants more time for his family.

Annual Pier Party Benefits Santa Monica, Malibu Students
April 10, 2015 -- Tickets for a major fundraiser benefiting students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District are now on sale, officials announced.

Santa Monica Consumer Group Critical of Google’s New Kids’ App
April 9, 2015 -- Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog has a bone to pick with Google’s new YouTube Kids app, claiming it violates long-standing advertising safeguards for children.

City’s Water Reduction Goal Is on Target
April 9, 2015 -- City officials got good news Wednesday after hearing from the state that Santa Monica’s water-savings goal is in line with the state’s proposed new regulatory system.

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park Earns Award
April 9, 2015 -- The nonprofit American Planning Association has singled out Santa Monica’s Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square project as excellent examples of urban planning.

Report Finds Santa Monicans Saved Less Water than State Average
April 8, 2015 -- Californians reduced their water use by less than 3 percent in February, but Santa Monica residents saved even less that month, according to new numbers released Tuesday by the State Water Board.

Santa Monica Could Explore Collecting Hotel Taxes for Short-Stay Rentals, Officials Say
April 8, 2015 -- With tens of millions of dollars collected each year in hotel taxes, Santa Monica officials are looking closely at the estimated 1,700 units now being rented as illegal short-term vacation rentals that don’t pay the taxes levied on traditional hotels, motels, inns and bed-and-breakfast establishments.

Santa Monica Bicyclists Could Share Lanes with Motorized Skateboards under Proposed California Legislation
April 8, 2015 -- Santa Monica bicyclists, take note: One of these days, you could be sharing your bike lane with motorized skateboards.

Santa Monica to Roll Out Water Inspectors
April 7, 2015 -- Two newly hired City inspectors will begin plying Santa Monica’s streets this month looking for water wasters, City officials said Monday.

Santa Monica College Celebrates Release of Spring Literary Review  
April 7, 2016 -- As editor of a twice-annual review of Los Angeles’ best and brightest authors, Andrew Tonkovich has a tough job -- tough but sweet.

Santa Monica’s Broad Stage Announces 20015-16 Season Line-Up
April 7, 2015 -- George Orwell’s “1984” by the Headlong Theatre Company of London will make its U.S. debut as part of the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage’s 2015-16 season, theater officials announced.

Santa Monica’s Water Allotments May Not Be Enough
April 6, 2015 -- Santa Monica will revisit its timeline for implementing mandatory residential water allowances in the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order last week calling for statewide reductions of 25 percent, City officials announced.

New Airstream Theme Store Opens at Santa Monica Pier
April 6 2015 -- When Pacific Park officials were brainstorming on a concept for a new gift shop for Santa Monica Pier, they sought something representative of both the Pier and its famed status as the end of historic Route 66.

New App Helps Cut Food Waste
April 6, 2015 -- Want to keep those veggies fresher longer? Now there’s an app for that.

Firm Drops Bid to Buy Out Owner of Santa Monica Place
April 3, 2015 -- An Indianapolis real estate investment company has dropped its hostile bid to buy out the owner of Santa Monica Place for more than $23 billion.

Santa Monica Looks for New Farmers Market Attractions in Potential Post-Pony Ride Era
April 3, 2015 -- A meeting will take place Tuesday at the Santa Monica Library for people interested in hosting educational and entertainment activities at the Main Street Farmers Market. Not encouraged to attend are those involved in animal activities, including pony rides and petting zoos.

Santa Monica Begins Assessing ‘Chain Reaction’
April 3, 2015 -- Just how stable is that 26-foot-tall A-bomb mushroom cloud rising up near Santa Monica Civic Center? Engineers began working this week to find out, City officials announced.

Santa Monica Consumer Group Presses for Explanations for Gas Price Spikes
April 2, 2015 -- A billionaire environmentalist and the president of a Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group are calling on state lawmakers to press oil industry officials harder for answers about why Californians continue to pay more at the pump than their fellow Americans.

Santa Monica High Team Wins First Place at County Science Fair
April 2, 2015 -- It took up most of their spare time and had to be crammed in between homework assignments, but a project that looked at cigarette pollution on City streets and beaches earned a team of students from Santa Monica High School a first place win at the Los Angeles County Science Fair.

Santa Monica District Testing for Toxins at Two Schools
April 2, 2015 -- Workers are taking advantage of spring break in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District to test building material samples for toxic substances at two high schools slated for upcoming renovation projects.

Santa Monica Consumer Group Blames Refineries for Pump Price Spikes
April 1, 2015 -- While crude oil prices stayed low, prices at the pump for California drivers shot up $1 in February, and motorists in the Golden State continue to be squeezed by price spikes while refineries reap big profits, a Santa Monica consumer advocacy group said last week.

Santa Monica Resident and Philanthropist David K. Richards Dies
April 1, 2015 -- Santa Monica resident David K. Richards, a major donor to the RAND Corporation whose ties to the nonprofit research institute spanned more than a decade, has died at age 75.

“Transformation” Coming to Santa Monica College
April 1, 2015 -- “Circle of Transformation,” an award-winning drama about relationships among a group of community college students, debuts this weekend at Santa Monica College’s Theatre Arts Studio Stage.

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