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

Santa Monica Residents Beat Water Savings Goal for June
July 31, 2015 -- Santa Monica got good news this week on two fronts in its ongoing fight to save water when new state figures revealed residents beat a state-mandated conservation goal for June, and municipal facilities like parks and buildings recorded cutting water use by more than half last month.

Locking Bike to Wrong Rack in Santa Monica Could Mean a Fine
July 31, 2015 -- As Santa Monica nears implementation of its new bike share program, the City Council on Tuesday approved a financial penalty for people who lock bikes to racks designated for the program. 

Jazz Returns with Santa Monica Summer Concert Series
July 31, 2015 -- From cool jazz to hot Latin beats, Santa Monica’s Stewart Park will be hopping with plenty of jazz throughout the summer.

Santa Monica Moves Closer to Opening Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
July 30, 2015 -- Long a hold out, the City of Santa Monica moved closer Tuesday to allowing the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within city borders, although the number is set at only two and they are expected to be required to offer free and discounted products.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Audit Subcommittee for Budget
July 30, 2015 --The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday approved the creation of a subcommittee to oversee audits of the city’s $1.1 billion biannual budget, a move one councilmember said could help overcome some of the public “aura of distrust” of City government.

Opinions Sought on Santa Monica’s New Universally Accessible Playground
July 30, 2015 --The City of Santa Monica wants input from the public as it kicks off its campaign to build a universally accessible playground at North Beach.

Santa Monica Firm Agrees to Settlement over State Bar Exam
July 29, 2015 -- A Santa Monica firm that helps customers prepare for the California State Bar Examination has agreed to a court settlement following allegations that the company “grossly inflated pass rates,” City officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Awarded More than $1.2 Million for Biking, Walking Programs
July 29, 2015 -- The City of Santa Monica has been awarded $1.25 million in a trio of grants to encourage biking and walking that include the expansion of a program that establishes safe routes for school children.

Santa Monica Police Invite Residents to National Night Out
July 29, 2015 -- Police are pulling out all the stops to woo residents to next Tuesday’s 32nd annual National Night Out event, originally held as a modest public response to rampant gun violence's peak in the mid-1980s.

Proposed Closure of Denny’s in Santa Monica Could Mark Passing of an Era
July 28, 2015 -- Zina Josephs, who has lived in Santa Monica since 1969, can remember the days when there were plenty of coffee shops and diners to choose from if you wanted to a relaxing but economical meal out.

Santa Monica Bike Sharing, Car Sharing Programs Set for Approval
July 28, 2015 -- With some initial test runs coming soon, Santa Monica City officials are putting the finishing touches on much-anticipated bike sharing and car sharing programs meant to reduce the gridlock on city streets.

Santa Monica Center Banking on Major Fundraiser to Keep Doors Open
July 28,2015 --The beleaguered Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), stripped of funding by the City of Santa Monica, is trying just about everything to raise cash so it can keep its doors open.

Santa Monica Police Will Test Body Cameras On Officers
July 27, 2015 -- Four months after an African-American man claimed officers used excessive force  during his arrest at a local park, Santa Monica police announced the department will begin testing body cameras for officers in a pilot program.

Planning Panel Backs Downtown Santa Monica Mixed-Use Project
July 27, 2015 -- The Planning Commission on Wednesday voted 4-1 to recommend the City Council approve a 52,000-square-foot mixed-use development on 5th Street between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway but suggested some minor changes be made to the project.

Turf Replacement Rebates Still Open to Santa Monica Residents
July 27, 2015 -- Metropolitan Water District customers looking to get paid to replace water-guzzling lawns quickly learn from the utility's SoCal WaterSmart website that funding for the $340 million program “has been exhausted.”

Santa Monica Planning Commission Supports Denny’s Replacement Project
July 24, 2015 -- A proposed mixed-used development at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue currently occupied by Denny’s came closer to final approval Wednesday night when the Planning Commission gave a unanimous endorsement.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Activists Launch Investigation of Controversial Hire and Fire Decision
July 24, 2015 -- A Santa Monica activist organization is launching its own investigation into the City’s controversial hiring of a communications director who was then abruptly fired, allegedly after her political activities came to light.

Santa Monica College Awards Chui L. Tsang Scholarship to Undocumented Student
July 24, 2015 -- A Santa Monica College student who overcame poverty and her undocumented immigration status to transfer to UCLA was the winner of the third annual Chui L. Tsang Transfer Scholarship.

Santa Monica to Explore Locations, Requirements for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
July 23, 2015 -- With medical marijuana dispensaries now allowed under Santa Monica’s new zoning code, the City is expected to start discussing how best to “allocate” them and possibly require that they offer free or discounted services for some patients.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Could Face Increased Health Care Contributions
July 23, 2015 -- With $64.7 million in unfunded retiree health care costs looming, a finance board is asking the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to more than double its annual contribution so it can pay down its debt.

Santa Monica Launches New Realtime Bus App
July 23, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus has become the second transit agency in California to offer “realtime” data that allows passengers to know where their bus is and when it is expected to arrive at their stop.

Talk of Splitting Santa Monica-Malibu School District Gains Momentum
July 22, 2015 -- Talk of Malibu schools seceding from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is gaining momentum, with experts reporting that such a split will not create a “substantial negative effect” for either entity.

Santa Monica Creates Federal Priorities List
July 22, 2015 -- Santa Monica's wish-list to Uncle Sam is a long one. The City's 2015 Federal Agenda, the first of what will be regular reports delivered annually to the City Council, is up for approval as part of the consent calendar at Tuesday’s City  Council meeting.

Santa Monica College Steps Transfer Efforts
July 22, 2015 -- Already at the top of the class for transferring students to the University at California system, Santa Monica College (SMC) is stepping up efforts to improve its record as it prepares for California’s new Transfer Pathways Initiative.

Town Hall Meeting Set as VA Makes Progress Housing Homeless Vets
July 21, 2015 -- As part of a far-reaching plan to end homelessness among veterans in Los Angeles County, officials will meet face-to-face with homeless veterans at a town hall-style meeting this week, Veterans Administration (VA) officials announced.

Santa Monica Area Supervisor's County Minimum Wage Law Up for Vote
July 21, 2015 -- A motion by Santa Monica-area Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to raise the minimum wage for workers in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, as well as for all county workers, is scheduled for a vote by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Saint John's in Santa Monica Installs Hi-Tech Disinfection System
July 21, 2015 -- Already ranked among the best in the nation for preventing in-patient infections, Providence Saint John's Medical Center in Santa Monica has now gone even further, installing state-of-the-art equipment to clean and disinfect rooms after traditional house-cleaning is completed, officials announced.

Council Wants Santa Monica Government Ethics Code
July 20, 2015 -- Santa Monica officials and candidates as well as those who do business with the City could soon be forced to meet the standards of an official ethics code. 

Experts Will Tackle Water Crisis During Event at Santa Monica Library
July 20, 2015 -- A panel of experts will discuss California’s water crisis, climate change and other aspects of the drought at a presentation this month at the Santa Monica Public Library, officials announced.

Santa Monica City Officials Want to Get Tough on “Wage Theft”
July 20, 2015 -- With Santa Monica contemplating an ordinance to boost its minimum wage, City officials are exploring ways to enforce it.

Santa Monica City Approves $710,000 Settlement in Hiring Case
July 17, 2015 -- Santa Monica officials Tuesday approved a $710,000 settlement of a lawsuit filed by a woman who was hired and then fired as the City’s communications chief, allegedly after her political activities came to light.

Santa Monica Schools Superintendent Gets New Contract
July 17, 2015 -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra L. Lyon was granted a new three-year contract Wednesday, raising her salary to $239,200 annually, among the highest in California.

Two New House Principals Approved by SMMUSD for Santa Monica High School
July 17, 2015 -- Two new house principals for Santa Monica High School officially assumed their posts Thursday after being approved by the  School Board, officials announced.

Santa Monica City Council Poised to Approve Budget Audit Subcommittee
July 16, 2015 -- Criticized for the way the City handles its governance and finances, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to approve the creation of a subcommittee to oversee auditing of the budget.

Santa Monica Officials Call FAA “Frustrating”
July 16, 2015 -- A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hearing last week in Washington D.C. on the fate of Santa Monica Airport left the attending City officials feeling frustrated with the agency, but satisfied they have a strong ally in Congressman Ted Lieu.

Santa Monica Council Tackles Airport Leases
July 16, 2015 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved some of the lease renewals for tenants at Santa Monica Airport, but delayed action on the more controversial ones, including those that are aviation-related.

Santa Monica Seeks Federal Grant to Fight Drought
July 15, 2015 -- Santa Monica will go after federal money to help pay for new water-treatment equipment expected to save more than 5 billion gallons a year once it’s installed at the City’s runoff recycling facility.

El Nino Could Be Mixed Blessing for Santa Monica, Officials Warn
July 15, 2015 -- Rain may seem a godsend for Santa Monica and the rest of California, but the rainfall expected from El Nino conditions predicted for this fall could have a major downside.

Santa Monica College Student Headed to Stanford On Full Scholarship
July 15, 2015 -- A search on the Web reveals the odds Angela Smith beat to make it into Stanford University this fall.

Santa Monica Airport Leases Return to Council
July 14, 2015 -- Controversial three-year lease deals for tenants at Santa Monica Airport drew hundreds of airport opponents the last time they went before the City Council, and now they are back on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

War Over Santa Monica Mural Escalates
July, 14, 2015 -- Undeterred by the City’s de-funding of the anti-gang group he founded in the Santa Monica’s Pico  neighborhood, activist Oscar de la Torre is ramping up another campaign aimed at City Hall: A historic mural there that depicts  Spanish Conquistadors standing over kneeling indigenous peoples.

Santa Monica’s Pacific Park Picked Best in State
July 14, 2015 -- Forget Disneyland and Six Flag Magic Mountain. Santa Monica’s Pier’s Pacific Park is the No. 1 amusement park in California, according Yahoo Travel.

Expo Begins Testing Trains in Santa Monica this Week
July 13, 2015 -- Drivers should expect brief interruptions in street traffic at intersections along Expo Light Rail Line segments in Santa Monica when officials begin testing trains this week, transportation officials announced.

Santa Monica to Consider Expanding Training for Public Safety Dispatchers
July 13, 2015 -- Emergency training for Santa Monica’s public safety dispatchers could be  expanded to provide more efficient and faster service under a proposal that goes to the City Council Tuesday.

Santa Monica College to Offer Wide Range of Fall Community Education Classes
July 13, 2015 -- From paralegal training to jewelry making and on-set production, Santa Monica College is offering a wide range of community education classes this fall session, along with a variety of new offerings.

Council Set to OK New Tax Assessments
July 10, 2015 -- Results of balloting among some 75 property owners in or near Downtown Santa Monica show a majority favor new tax assessments, so now it’s up to Santa Monica City Council members to give the final OK.

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Live Broadcast During Pluto Flyby
July 10, 2015 -- When NASA’s pioneering New Horizons spacecraft makes its historic flyby of dwarf planet Pluto and its moon Charon next week, children and visitors at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium will get the inside scoop directly from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Santa Monica Hosts Free Home Energy Savings Workshop
July 10, 2015 -- Santa Monica homeowners can learn how to shore up their homes against energy leaks at an upcoming workshop at the Pico Branch Library, City officials announced.

Local Officials Meet With FAA on Santa Monica Airport
July 9, 2015 -- Area Congressman Ted Lieu brought a delegation of local officials and residents to a face-to-face meeting this week with senior Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials in Washington, D.C.-- days after a disputed agreement over the future of Santa Monica Airport expired.

Santa Monica Fairview Branch Library to Get More than $900,000 in Upgrades
July 9, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s Fairview Branch Library, built nearly six decades ago, is expected to receive more than $900,000 from the City Council next week to overhaul everything from flooring and book shelves to plumbing and air

Multimedia Installation Will Light Up Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station
July 9, 2015 -- Anyone passing by Bergamot Station Arts Center this weekend will be in for a sensory experience.

Conflict of Interest Probe of Former City Manager Unlikely
July 8, 2015 -- Allegations that former Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould violated local conflict-of-interest laws under  the 2010 Oaks Initiative will likely die at the City Attorneys office, according to City officials.

Santa Monica Businesses Brace for Anticipated Minimum Wage Hike
July 8, 2015 -- At Locanda Del Lago restaurant on the Promenade in Santa Monica,  managemnet is increasingly anxious.

New Technology to Help Beachgoers Test Water Quality in Santa Monica Bay
July 8, 2015 -- New technology will help beachgoers test the waters in real time before they wade into the Santa Monica Bay this summer.

Santa Monica Human Rights Warrior Judge David B. Finkel Dies
July 7, 2015 -- He was a young lawyer who in the 1960s volunteered legal aid to civil rights fighters in Mississippi. He defended conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War. He fought for educators' right to free speech in classrooms. He defended local renters. He worked for a more inclusive Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Think Tank Says Pot Ads Could Influence Teen Use
July 7, 2015 -- Viewing billboards advertising medical marijuana could influence younger teens to try the drug, said a RAND Corp. study released Monday.

Officials Encourage Santa Monica Residents to Enjoy National Parks Month
July 7, 2015 -- There’s the beach, the pier, parks and lots of other places to play, but a recent survey that gauged how well Santa Monicans are feeling found that most locals just don’t have the time to enjoy the outdoors.

Youth Center Officials Unleash Attack on Santa Monica Mayor
July 6, 2015 -- Stripped of city funding and barely able to keep its doors open, Santa Monica’s Pico Youth and Family Center has released a blistering attack on Mayor Kevin McKeon, accusing him of tainting the program with false claims that center officials tried to intimidate him and influence a crucial funding vote.

Santa Monica To Consider Lobbyist Registration and Special Audit Committee
April 6, 2015 -- A proposal requiring lobbyists to register with Santa Monica City Hall and another to form a special subcommittee to audit the City budget are expected to go before the City Council later this month.

Award-Winning Authors Recruited For Santa Monica Library's Summer Teen Writing Courses
July 6, 2015 -- Finding published writers who match with Santa Monica Public Library's summer teen writing workshops can sometimes be difficult, but once they're contacted they're usually more than happy to participate, said Librarian Ann Wagner, who coordinates that annual program.

Anti-Gang Group in Santa Monica Starts Layoffs, Pay Cuts After Losing City Funding
July 3, 2015 --- The Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) has begun scaling back and scrambling for funding after failing to win a City grant for the first time in nearly two decades, center officials said.

Referendum Launched to Overturn Vaccination Law Co-Sponsored by Santa Monica Legislator
July 3, 2015 -- The day after California’s tough new school vaccination law was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, it is being challenged in a proposed statewide referendum.

Two Santa Monica Parks Up For Prestigious Global Design Award
July 3, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square are finalists for the Urban Land Institute’s 2015 Open Space Award, one of a handful public space projects selected from around the world, City officials announced this week.

Santa Monica Residents Back on Track in Water Savings
July 2, 2015 -- Water used by residents in Santa Monica was down last month, according to new state figures Wednesday showing Californians for the first time collectively exceeded Gov. Jerry Brown's mandatory 25 percent cut statewide.

Santa Monica Group Claims Gas Price Rigging over Holiday
July 2, 2015 -- As an estimated 2.4 million Southern Californians hit the roads this Fourth of July holiday weekend, a Santa Monica consumers’ group is ramping up its war on alleged price rigging at the gas pump by oil companies.

Black Collegians Group at Santa Monica College Turns 25
July 2, 2015 -- Inspired in part by the end of apartheid in South Africa, a Santa Monica College program created to help black students succeed is turning 25 this year, SMC officials announced.

Santa Monica's Much Debated Development Standards Take Effect this Month
July 1, 2015 -- After sparking dozens of meetings and hundreds of comments, Santa Monica's new zoning standards – which will dictate the height and density of developments for the next two decades – will go into effect this month.

Extra Police and Fire Officials Will Be on Watch for Fourth of July Holiday
July 1, 2015 -- As far as enforcing Santa Monica's ban on illegal fireworks goes -- including so-called “safe and sane” sparklers -- police and fire officials have a relatively easy time of it on the Fourth of July, apart from the occasional tourists unfamiliar with local ordinances, a fire marshal said.

Governor Signs Vaccination Legislation Co-Sponsored by Santa Monica State Senator Ben Allen
July 1, 2015 -- Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday signed legislation mandating that nearly all children receive vaccinations for such illnesses as measles before entering  public or private school, making California only one of three states with such stringent requirements.

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