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

Consumer Group Calls on Santa Monica Assemblyman Bloom to Drop Filing Fee Bill
June 30, 2015 -- Santa Monica-area state Assemblyman Richard Bloom should drop his bill to hike the fee for filing a state ballot initiative to $2,500, after the California Attorney General’s Office tossed out a proposal that triggered the bill, a local consumer’s group said.

Historian Says Activist Misinterpreting Santa Monica City Hall Mural as Racist
June 30, 2015 -- A local activist who attacked a mural at City Hall as a depiction of conquered Native Americans is misinterpreting what artist Stanton MacDonald-Wright meant by the scene, said a Santa Monica Conservancy official.

Neighbors Worry about Santa Monica Day Care Center Expansion
June 30, 2015 -- It’s 7:30 a.m. and parents are already pulling up in SUVs and other cars in front The Activity Place, double-parking and pulling into private driveways to make U-turns in search of a precious space along the curb.

Santa Monica Rejects Man's Excessive Force Claim Against Police
June 29, 2015 -- A local man who says he was roughed up while being arrested at a Santa Monica park could file a civil lawsuit as early as this week, after the City denied an excessive-force claim filed against two police officers, his attorney said Friday.

Vaccine Bill Co-Authored By Santa Monica State Sen. Allen Headed To Governor
June 29, 2015 -- After slogging through several heated debates in the state Legislature and enduring emotional pleas from parents on both sides of the issue during public hearings, a controversial vaccination bill co-authored by Santa Monica state Sen. Ben Allen is now two steps away from becoming law in California.

First Big Test of Expo Line Set
June 29, 2015 -- Dignitaries including L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will get a preview of the Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica next week at the newly completed station in Palms, just east of the Mar Vista community in Los Angeles.

Veteran Educator Named to Lead Santa Monica School
June 26, 2016 --  Educator Jezelle Fullwood, a 20-year veteran teacher and administrator, will become the new principal at Grant Elementary School next month, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District announced.

Santa Monica OKs New Bike Share Fee
June 26, 2015 -- When Santa Monica launches its “Breeze” bike-share program later this year, the “bike-friendly city” will charge riders a fee that is among a raft of new or increased user-charges in the fiscal budget City Council members adopted this week.

Summer's Music Set for Santa Monica Pier Concerts
June 26, 2015 -- Morris Day & TheTime will transport funk music lovers back to the days of “Purple Rain” with live performances of “Jungle Love,” “The Bird” and other hits when the band kicks off this summer's Twilight Concerts Series at the Santa Monica Pier.

Activist Calls City Hall Mural of Kneeling Native Americans Santa Monica's Confederate Flag
June 25, 2015 -- A City Hall mural depicting Spanish Conquistadors standing before kneeling indigenous people is “the Santa Monica Confederate Flag,” said a local Latino activist and founder of a service center now in survival mode after Council members slashed its funding by $190,000.

US Conference Of Mayors Honors Santa Monica For Protecting Climate
June 25, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s solar initiative, which has helped residents and business owners convert to solar power, has been singled out for praise at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors, City officials announced Wednesday.

Catch a Meteor Shower At Santa Monica College Planetarium
June 25, 2015 --  Last summer, clouds from a rare monsoon storm obstructed views of the night sky, but officials at the John Drescher Planetarium at Santa Monica College are hoping for better luck for next month’s Persied meteor shower.

Santa Monica Youth Center Denied Grant after Final Plea for Funding
June 24, 2015 -- Waving signs and chanting “Si Se Puede,” more than 200 boisterous supporters of the beleaguered Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) marched to Santa Monica City Hall on Tuesday to protest a cut in City funding.

Santa Monica State Sen. Allen Named to Committee Investigating Refugio Oil Spill
June 24, 2015 -- Santa Monica-area state Sen. Ben Allen will be part of a committee investigating last month's oil spill at Refugio State Beach that killed dozens of animals and resulted in ugly tar balls washing up on South Bay beaches miles away.

Conservancy Tour Brings Downtown Santa Monica’s Hidden History to Light
June 24, 2015 -- Finding the potent artifacts of Santa Monica's past begins by looking up.


Santa Monica Council Faces Busy Session
June 23, 2015 -- With a new two-year budget package, critical funding for local nonprofit agencies and a new zoning law that will set development standards for the next two decades, Santa Monica City Council members face a hefty agenda Tuesday night.

Supreme Court Ruling On Hotel Registry Searches Strikes Down Santa Monica Ordinance
June 23, 2015 -- Santa Monica Police officers no longer will be able to conduct no-warrant checks of local hotel and motel guest registries after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a similar ordinance in the City of Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Library Heads to the Beach
June 23, 2015 -- It’s been challenging trying to figure out the logistics behind putting on the Santa Monica Public Library’s first foray into uncharted waters -- or in the case, uncharted sand.

Santa Monica’s New Zoning Law Set for Approval, but Ballot Challenge Looms
June 22, 2015 -- A sweeping new zoning law for Santa Monica is expected to win the City Council’s approval Tuesday, even as its slow-growth foes ready an initiative to challenge the “activity centers” and other large developments allowed under the proposed provisions.

Summer in the City: Tips for a Trip to Santa Monica Beach
June 22, 2015 -- Before hitting the beach or heading to the great outdoors this summer, millions of Americans will first make a stop at their favorite sporting goods, shoe store or bike shop, spending more than $120 billion a year on summer-related clothing, footwear, equipment, vehicles, accessories and services, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

Santa Monica College to Debut Summer Art Exhibit
June 22, 2015 -- Works by veteran painter and California State University, Long Beach art professor Tom Krumpak, whose artistic career spans more than three decades, will be featured through this summer at Santa Monica College Emeritus College Art Gallery, officials announced.

Santa Monica to Resend Thousands of Water Usage Letters after Error
June 19, 2015 -- Due to a “computer glitch,” the City of Santa Monica sent letters to most customers with the wrong information about usage under the city’s mandated water-reduction program, officials said Thursday.

Santa Monica Watchdog Group Says Bloom Bill Limits Citizens' Political Clout
June 19, 2015 -- Got an idea for a new state law or constitutional amendment? In California all it takes is $200 to get your political ball rolling.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Be Allowed under Proposed Santa Monica Zoning Law
June 19, 2015 -- After years of debating whether medical marijuana dispensaries have a place in Santa Monica, the City Council is set to approve two as part of a new zoning ordinance that will go before the Council on June 23.

Santa Monica Pier Again Gets Failing Grade on Annual Beach Report Card
June 18, 2015 -- For the second year in a row, the ocean around Santa Monica Pier received an F-grade for water quality on Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Report Card, which was released Wednesday.

Uber Ride-Sharing Service under Fire in Santa Monica Dealt Major Blow By State Commission
June 18, 2015 -- Uber, the internationally popular ride-sharing service that is far from popular with Santa Monica officials upset with its business practices, has been dealt a major blow by the California Labor Commission.

Santa Monica Will Host Local Juneteenth Celebration
June 18, 2015 -- Blues and island sounds, food, arts and crafts and more will greet visitors to Virginia Avenue Park at this weekend’s 23rd annual Juneteenth celebration.

Health Care Costs Mounting for Santa Monica-Malibu School District
June 17, 2015 -- At a time when the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is barely in the black, it faces a future price tag for retiree health care that totals more than half of the nearly $103 million proposed budget for the 2015-2016 year, an audit shows.

Santa Monica Rolls out Strict New Law on Short-term Vacation Rentals
June 17, 2015 -- The City of Santa Monica on Monday began to roll out a sweeping crackdown on illegal vacation rentals made popular by online sites like Airbnb, vowing to enforce some of the toughest restrictions in the nation.

Landmarks Commission Seeks History of Old Callahan's Diner in Santa Monica
June 17, 2015 -- A City hired consultant charged by Santa Monica's Landmarks Commission with piecing together the history the old Callahan's Restaurant is getting valuable help from Mike Callahan, whose father opened his combination restaurant-bakery on Wilshire Boulevard some 40 years ago.

Santa Monica Police Get Tough On Unlicensed Food Vendors
June 16, 2015 -- Freshly diced fruit may sound cool on a hot afternoon at the beach, but buying it from an unlicensed vendor could get you sick, Santa Monica police are warning.

FAA Says Plan for Santa Monica Airport Flight Paths Won’t Revive Rejected Route
June 16, 2015 -- A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plan to revamp flight paths to and from Santa Monica Airport does not include a departure heading rejected by residents when it was tested by the FAA, an official for the agency said Monday.

Santa Monica Turns Red, White and Blue for July Fourth
June 16, 2015 -- Ready to get your red, white and blue on? Residents can get patriotic for the Fourth at a local annual parade and a free fireworks show, both of which draw thousands of people each year.

Letter--Kudos to the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation
June 16, 2015 -- As a long-time supporter of our local public schools, I have followed with great interest the recent successes of the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation.  I urge all your readers to go on the Foundation’s website and view the extremely impressive list of community members and local businesses who have contributed financially to the Foundation this year, supporting critical educational initiatives that otherwise would not be funded.

Apartment Owners Sue Santa Monica Over New Housing Discrimination Law
June 15, 2015 -- A landlords’ association and apartment owners are suing the City of Santa Monica, claiming a new local law aimed at banning income-based housing discrimination is unconstitutional.

Fear of Hacking Increasing Says Santa Monica Think Tank
June 15, 2015 --  Companies are spending more on cyber-security, but many firms believe hackers are gaining the upper hand, said a RAND Corporation study released last week.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Expanded Child Care Center
June 15, 2015 -- Construction of a multimillion-dollar child care center for the Santa Monica Civic Center – developed in partnership with Santa Monica College (SMC) – moved forward last week when the City Council agreed to lease City-owned land for the project.

Santa Monica Watchdog Group Accuses Former City Manager of Violating Conflict-of-Interest Law
June 12, 2015 -- A Santa Monica citizen’s watchdog group is accusing former City Manager Rod Gould of allegedly violating conflict-of-interest law by accepting employment with a firm that repeatedly did business with the City during his tenure.

Santa Monica to Study Raising Minimum Wage
June 12, 2015 --The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to study raising the minimum wage for all workers in the bayside city, following in the footsteps of Los Angeles’ controversial decision to up the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

Third Forum on Santa Monica Civic Set for Saturday
June 12, 2015 -- Preliminary documents designed to guide future plans for the landmark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium are now complete and will be presented to residents at a community meeting this weekend.

Santa Monica Whittles Down Huge Pension Debt with Extra $5 million Payment
June 11, 2015 -- Santa Monica City officials chipped away at a $385 million debt for unfunded pension liability costs Tuesday by paying an extra $5 million as part of a long-term plan to get rid of some of the red ink.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District to Post Budget Surplus
June 11, 2015 -- A last-minute infusion of state funding is providing the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) with enough revenue to erase a projected $7.4 million budget deficit – and even post a small surplus next school year, District officials said this week.

Santa Monica Puts Out Welcome Mat For New City Manager
June 11, 2015 -- At a modest reception in the bottom-floor rotunda at Santa Monica City Hall, the guest of honor slipped in quietly, hardly noticed.

Water Use Allowances Begin This Month For Santa Monica Residents
June 10, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s postponed Water User Allowance (WUA) program, which sets thresholds for residential water use and calls for penalties for exceeding their allowances, begins in earnest this week, the head of the City’s sustainability office said.

SMMUSD Fundraising Group Falls Short of $4 million Goal
June 10, 2015 -- An outside organization trying to raise $4 million for everything from the arts and sciences to literacy coaches for the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District has fallen short.

Santa Monica Council Lets Radio Show Go On
June 10, 2015 -- Just as they have for the past 20 years, residents will continue being able to tune into live broadcasts of Santa Monica City Council meetings, after members Tuesday night extended the City’s contract with a local public radio station.

Remodeled Santa Monica Animal Shelter Holding Grand Reopening
June 9, 2015 -- Rescued cats now have their own place to hang out and play at the newly renovated Santa Monica Animal Shelter, set to make its public debut this weekend, officials said.

Storm Generated Rip Tides Could Keep Santa Monica Lifeguards Busy This Week
June 9, 2015 -- Inland heat, local schools on summer vacation, tourists unfamiliar with the beach terrain – add in riptides from the residue of tropical storm Blanca – and this could be a busy week for lifeguards in Santa Monica and other local beaches, officials said Monday.

Santa Monica Police Focus on Bike, Pedestrian Safety
June 9, 2015 -- In the past three years, 874 people have been killed or injured in Santa Monica in collisions involving bikes and pedestrians, police said Monday, as officials launched the first of three enforcement operations aimed at reducing those statistics.

National Cities Group Cites Support but Concerns on New “Sharing Economy”
June 8, 2015 -- When Santa Monica shut the door on illegal short-term rentals recently, City leaders  were sending a message: The new  “sharing economy” might be booming, but it isn’t welcome if it endangers the safety and quality of lives of the people within its borders.

Santa Monica Doctor Awaits Trial on Drug Charges
June 8, 2015 -- A doctor who ran a pain clinic in Santa Monica will have to wait in jail at least until next month for the start of his trial for illegally prescribing drugs.

Library Meeting Will Discuss Possible FAA Changes for Santa Monica Airport
June 8, 2015 -- Residents will get to weigh in on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal for flight path changes involving more than 22 airports across the Los Angeles Basin, including Santa Monica Airport.

Residocracy to Rush Slow-Growth Initiative After Plaza at Santa Monica Vote
June 5, 2015 -- Worried by the Planning Commission’s support Wednesday of a proposed 148-foot-tall mixed-use project Downtown, a slow-growth group said Thursday that it will rush a proposed initiative to put major developments directly in the hands of voters.

Santa Monica’s Billion Dollar Budget Reflects Sluggish Uptick
June 5, 2015 -- Santa Monica's economy weathered the recession and its outlook appears bright in the short term, but the long-view forecast calls for modest growth ahead, according to an overview of the City's $1.1 billion proposed biennial budget.

Retiring SMC President to Give Commencement Speech
May 5, 2015 -- Santa Monica College President Dr. Chui L. Tsang, who is retiring after nine years at the helm as the school year ends, will be the 2015 SMC commencement speaker, college officials announced Thursday.

Planning Commission Moves Ahead on Major Santa Monica Downtown Development
June 4, 2015 -- If the layered, zig-zag-shaped The Plaza at Santa Monica ever gets built at the epicenter of the City's downtown core, it's conceivable its future residents could work, dine, shop, exercise outdoors -- even ice skate and visit a children's museum -- without ever leaving home.

Santa Monica Downtown Specific Plan to be Temporarily Extended
June 4, 2015 -- The plan that guides all development for downtown Santa Monica likely will be temporarily extended until City leaders address the issue next year, the City’s top planning official said Wednesday.

Santa Monica Seventh Graders Asked “What is a Worthwhile Life?”
June 4, 2015 -- What is a worthwhile life? That is the question 350 seventh-graders at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica were asked recently during interviews as part of an exercise to assess their ability to reflect on the big decisions coming in their lives.

Santa Monicans Saved More Water In April
June 3, 2015 -- Residential water use in the bayside city was down in April from a year ago, and Santa Monicans also used less water that month than in March, new figures released by state water regulators Tuesday show.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Receives $621,000 For Water Conservation
June 3, 2015 --The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will use more than $620,000 from the state Water Resources Control Board to create storm water capture projects and educate students on water conservation, District officials said this week .

Head of Embattled Santa Monica Youth Group Willing To Give More Control to City
June 3, 2015 --The head of an embattled anti-gang youth group in the Pico neighborhood said Tuesday he is willing to cede more power to the City of Santa Monica in exchange for $190,000 in funding officials are threatening to pull.

Santa Monica Fire Department To Beef Up Rescue Response for Expo Line
June 2, 2015 --  Santa Monica Fire Department will need a second rescue ambulance and six paramedics to deal with the Expo Light Rail line next year and a continuing increase in emergency calls, according to the department's recent budget request.

Santa Monica College Student Earns Scholarship To Study In China
June 2, 2015 -- A Santa Monica College student will be spending the summer studying Mandarin in China, one of only 550 students awarded a national language scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.

Santa Monica High Students Sweep Poster Awards
June 2, 2015 -- Three Santa Monica High School students took the top prizes in a local poster contest to encourage water conservation, District officials announced Monday.

New City Manager Will Earn $329 K a Year
June 1, 2015 -- Rick Cole will move to Santa Monica when he takes over as its new city manager with help from a contract package that includes a low-interest home loan, among other perks.

Santa Monica Police Chief Responds to Residents’ Racial Profiling Complaints
June 1, 2015 -- In response to recent complaints of racial profiling, Santa Monica Police Department  administrators have met with residents, drilled patrol cops on anti-bias rules and are compiling “contextualized” arrest data that will be made available to the public next year, said Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

(updated) Santa Monica Police Chief Seeks More Cops
June 1, 2015  -- Santa Monica police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks is calling for a boost in ranks to deal with the arrival next year of the Expo Light Rail line, a new hotel and other projects going up in Downtown, spikes in low-level crime, and a growing exodus of seasoned cops.

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