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

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Advocates Not Upset by Hines Replacement Project
March 31, 2015 -- Nearly a year after the City Council reversed its approval of a controversial mixed-use development near a future light rail station on Santa Monica’s east end, the new property owner has proposed a much-smaller project that is receiving mixed reviews.

New Activist Group Forms in Santa Monica, Some People Aren't Happy
March 31, 2015 -- There is a new player in the Santa Monica political battle that features many well-known names. Santa Monica Forward announced its presence Sunday through a press release.

Santa Monica Area Supervisor Seeks County Minimum Wage Study
March 31, 2015 -- Mirroring what Santa Monica City officials are doing locally, county Supervisor Shiela Kuehl is calling for a comprehensive study into the impacts of a countywide minimum wage, her office said Monday.

Santa Monica Department Heads Ramp Up Expo Preparations
March 30, 2015 -- As work continues on schedule on Phase 2 of the 6.6-mile, $1.5 billion Exposition Light Rail Transit project through Santa Monica, City administrators have begun holding regular inter-departmental meetings to prepare for its opening early next year, officials said.

Silicon Beach Firm Perfect Fit For Struggling Pico Youth and Family Center
March 30, 2015 -- The telephone call came out of the blue at a time that was all too black for Santa Monica’s struggling Pico Youth and Family Center.

Spring Concerts Spotlight Cream of Santa Monica College Music Program
March 30, 2015 -- Talented young Santa Monica College musicians on their way to becoming music majors at four-year universities will be showcased during four special performances next month, the college announced.

Santa Monica Assemblymember Authors Bill to Hike Cost of Proposed Ballot Measures
March 27, 2015 -- Former Santa Monica Mayor and current Democratic Assemblymember Richard Bloom has proposed a bill calling for a significant rise in the price tag for ballot measure proposals. 

Santa Monica Schools Struggling To Meet Fundraising Goals
March 27, 2015 -- Just three months short of their deadline, fundraisers  have collected only half of the $4 million they have targeted to pay for everything from arts to science projects for the Santa Monica- Malibu Unified School District.

Santa Monica On The Way To Becoming Movie-Going Mecca
March 27, 2015 -- Santa Monica is moving closer to becoming a movie-going mecca, with major theater chains from ArcLight to smaller operations like Laemmle’s finishing building plans and blueprints for state-of-the-art movie houses.

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel Goes Dark as Part of Earth Hour
March 27, 2015 -- The lights on the Santa Monica Pier’s world-famous Ferris wheel will go mostly dark for an hour on Saturday night as it joins in the international Earth Hour celebration, Pacific Park officials said.

Santa Monica Council OKs New Lease Terms for Airport Tenants
March 26, 2015 -- Wary of triggering new legal challenges from the federal government, Santa Monica City Council members this week approved several measured steps aimed at giving the City a bit more control over Santa Monica Airport.

Council Appoints Slow-Growth Foe to Santa Monica Planning Commission
March 26, 2015 -- Santa Monica residents who call themselves slow-growth activists celebrated in November after an election that they said gave them control of the City Council. But this victory did not help in getting someone from their ranks to fill the highly sought seat on the Planning Commission.

Residocracy to Launch Ballot Measures to Control Santa Monica Development
March 26, 2015 --, the Santa Monica internet-based slow-growth organization, will launch efforts to halt the City’s proposed new zoning ordinance and replace it with a law that turns development decisions over to the residents, the group’s founder said Wednesday.

Santa Monica Police Arrest Drivers at DUI Checkpoint
March 26, 2015 -- Santa Monica police screened hundreds of drivers and arrested two motorists on suspicion of DUI during a recent overnight sobriety and driver’s license enforcement operation.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Continues Debate on Holiday Recognition
March 25, 2015 -- Abraham Lincoln’s birthday will be celebrated two months after the actual date in 2017, at least it will in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). 

Library to Screen Film About Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood
March 25, 2015 -- When filmmaker Michael W. Barnard set out in 1999 to document the history of the Pico area of Santa Monica, he wanted to provide audiences with a window into the changing face of a neighborhood where he’d lived on and off for years.

Santa Monica Physician Leads Mission to Africa
March 25, 2015 -- West Africa’s Ebola outbreak had just begun its deadly march from rural villages to the capital cities of Freetown in Sierra Leone and Monrovia in Liberia when Santa Monica pediatrician Dr. Bob Hamilton decided -- reluctantly -- to pull the plug on his missionary clinic treating villager in Guinea Bassau on the continent’s west coast.

Test of Tsunami Warning System to Be Broadcast Wednesday in Santa Monica and other Coastal Cities
March 25, 2015 -- A test of the tsunami warning communications system will be broadcast Wednesday along the coastal communities of southern and central California, including Santa Monica, which is more prepared for such a potential disaster than most of its counterparts, officials said Tuesday.

Santa Monica Airport Advocates, Opponents Hope for Big Crowd at Council Meeting
March 24, 2015 --If you are planning to attend the Santa Monica City Council meeting this week on Tuesday, you should arrive early if you want to get a seat. 

Santa Monica Resident and RAND Researcher Kevin Farley McCarthy Dies
March 24, 2015 -- Kevin Farley McCarthy, a longtime Santa Monica resident and a RAND Corp. researcher whose work included books on such divergent subjects as U.S. immigration policy and the impact of technology on the performing arts, has died.

New Plan Proposes Fare Hike for Santa Monica Buses
March 24, 2015 -- Fully aligning Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus service with the coming Expo Light Rail Line will cost millions of dollars, increase the number of bus riders, and require a fare increase of 25 cents, local transit officials said in a report to the City Council.

Santa Monica Council Set to Formally Ban Exotic Animals From Parks
March 24, 2015 -- An ordinance barring monkeys, snakes, birds and other exotic animals from the Pier, the Pier Ramp, Ocean Front Park, Third Street Promenade, and the Transit Mall is scheduled to go to the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday night for a second reading formally adopting the ban into local law.

Drought Could Impact Santa Monica Food Pantries
March 23, 2015 -- Surplus cruciferous vegetables and slightly over-ripe fruit are becoming scarcer and scarcer luxuries in the one or two bags of groceries volunteers hand out to homeless people and others in need every Wednesday at a small Southern Baptist church across from Santa Monica College.

Uber ‘Horrible for Air Quality and Traffic Congestion,’ Santa Monica Mayor Says
March 23, 2015 -- Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown had harsh words for Uber during last Tuesday’s City Council discussion on app-based transportation services and taxicabs.

Inglewood Mayor Quietly Succeeds Santa Monica’s MTA Board Member
March 23, 2015 -- With no special fanfare or media coverage, a power shift quietly took place last month at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority as Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. officially replaced Santa Monica Councilmember Pam O’Connor on the MTA Board of Directors.

Steep Rise in Vacation Rentals in Santa Monica Worries City Officials
March 20, 2015  -- Santa Monica, a city already facing a severe housing shortage across most income brackets, has seen a sudden jump in illegal vacation rentals that has irate neighbors complaining and city officials worrying.

Santa Monica Council Votes for Settlement in Decade-Long Sex Discrimination Suit
March 20, 2015 -- A 10-year legal battle about alleged gender discrimination between the City of Santa Monica and a former employee that went all the way to the California Supreme Court likely came to an end Tuesday when the City Council voted 6 to 0 to pay $490,000 in a settlement.

Santa Monica Planning Commission Appointment Delayed Again
March 20, 2015 -- The City’s Planning Commission will continue to be one member short for at least another week after the Santa Monica City Council voted on Tuesday to delay a vote on making an appointment. 

Santa Monica College Springs Into Dance
March 20, 2015 --Santa Monica College’s annual Master of Dance Series opens with a workshop on the practical side of dance.

Santa Monica Faces Nearly $385 Million in Pensions, Report Finds
March 19, 2015 -- Despite reforms aimed at curbing soaring costs, the City of Santa Monica is facing nearly $385 million in long-term pension debts, a looming figure that totals almost two-thirds of the City’s entire general fund budget.

FAA Would Likely Win Court Battle to Prevent Santa Monica Airport Closure, City Attorney Says
March 19, 2015 -- Anti-Santa Monica Airport activists say the facility, which is located on City-owned land, could at least partially close when the municipality’s 1984 agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expires at the end of June.

Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards Announced
March 19, 2015 -- A “conscientious” wealth management firm, a restaurant serving Northern Italian cuisine with local organic ingredients from farmers markets and an “eco-conscious” beachside hotel are the top winners of 2015 Sustainable Quality Awards, officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Police Will Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday
March 19, 2015 -- Planning a late St. Patrick’s Day celebration this weekend? Make sure you have a designated driver, police warn.

Affordable Housing in Santa Monica Took Further Hit in 2014, Rent Board Report States
March 18, 2015 --The squeeze on housing for the poor and the middle class in Santa Monica worsened last year, with the number of rent-controlled units again slipping and the rents soaring, according to the 2014 Annual Consolidated Report of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.

Residocracy Calls on Residents to Protest Possible Santa Monica Zoning Changes
March 18, 2015 -- The Santa Monica Planning Commission is expected on Wednesday to finalize its recommendations to the City Council on the update to the City’s  Zoning Ordinance, and at least one activist group does not care for what could happen.

Santa Monica Ahead of State in Curbs on Water Use
March 18, 2015 -- Glasses of water on tables in Santa Monica restaurants will no longer be automatic, and local hotels will have to post signs telling guests they have the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.

Santa Monica Place’s Parent Firm Rejects Buyout Bid
March 18, 2015 -- Santa Monica Place’s local parent company Macerich has rejected an unsolicited buyout proposal worth $22.4 billion from Simon Property Group, saying its  future looks brighter on its own than as part of the Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust.

Santa Monica Law Firm Files Lawsuit Against Lyft
March 17, 2015 -- A Santa Monica law firm is representing the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed late last week against the ride service company Lyft. The 22-page complaint claims the company failed to pay promised bonuses to new drivers and the people who recruited them.

Santa Monica to Hire Firm to Design New Beach Park
March 17, 2015 -- Santa Monica City Council members were expected Tuesday night to hire an architectural firm to design a proposed new playground for the beach north of Santa Monica Pier.

Hundreds Cited as State Cracks Down on Alcohol Sales to Minors
March 17, 2015 -- More than 420 people were cited during a statewide pre-Patrick’s Day weekend crackdown on underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales to minors, including one person in Santa Monica, officials said Tuesday.

Divided Santa Monica Rent Board Waits on Mandating Buyout Agreement Disclosure
March 16, 2015 -- Nobody was shouting, but there was clearly tension in the air Thursday night as Santa Monica Rent Control members debated about how best to handle the reported rise in the number of landlords offering buyout agreements to long-term tenants as a method to replace them with people who will pay higher market rates.

Four Downtown Santa Monica Projects Slated for Review this Year
March 16, 2015 -- Four private development projects that would change the face of Downtown are expected to make their way through the planning approval process this year, City officials said.

Santa Monica Strives for Zero Waste with New App
March 16, 2015 -- Recycling can sometimes be intimidating. Do you include the take-out food container and plastic dry cleaning cover, or are they garbage? And what do you do with that shirt you no longer wear?

Pico Neighborhood Pushes for Special Zoning District
March 13, 2015 -- A local residents’ group pushing for special zoning protections for the City’s Pico neighborhood plans to present a formal proposal to a steering committee meeting of the influential Santa Monicans for Renters Rights organization this weekend, officials said.

Santa Monica Police to Crackdown on Underage Drinking
March 13, 2015 -- If a young-looking person hits you up to buy some liquor this weekend, don’t do it. You could just get snared in a sting operation.

SMC Emeritus Band Performs 36th Free Concert Sunday
March 13, 2015 -- There is a father and son duo, an aerospace engineer, an emergency room physician, retired teachers and the president of an audio studio. A number of them are in their 80s and 90s; at least seven have been part of the band for 40 years or so.

Uber, Lyft Harm Santa Monica Taxi Businesses, Owners Say
March 12, 2015 -- While plenty of Santa Monica residents are happy about the recent arrival of services like Uber and Lyft, local taxicab owners do not share this enthusiasm. 

The Newly Remodeled Pico Youth and Family Center Connects with Silicon Valley, Others, as it Fights to Stay Open
March 12, 2015 --The Pico Youth and Family Center is celebrating its 13th anniversary with much fanfare on Saturday, and taking the opportunity to unveil a new alliance with Silicon Beach-based Tiny Rebellion, a high-tech advertising agency that will start offering mentoring, as well as internships and entry-level  jobs to youths at the center.

SMC Students from Pico Neighborhood Get Extra Help Transferring to Universities
March 12, 2015 -- In a neighborhood where families struggle with poverty and other problems,  young students who have made it to Santa Monica College will return Thursday for extra help taking the next step – getting into a four-year college or university.

Santa Monica Theatre Group Presents 'Elephant's Graveyard"
March 12, 2015 -- Author George Brandt’s play about a real-life tragedy involving a circus elephant and a town seeking revenge after the animal kills her handler will be presented this month at Santa Monica College’s Theatre Arts Main Stage.

Harrison Ford’s Plane Lost Power Following Santa Monica Airport Takeoff, NTSB Says
March 11, 2015 -- A preliminary report posted Tuesday on the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) website says power failure caused actor Harrison Ford to crash his plane shortly after it took off from Santa Monica Airport Friday afternoon.

Santa Monica Official Sees Pattern of Landlords Harassing Disabled Tenants
March 11, 2015 – For the second time in as many months, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office is suing landlords for allegedly taking parking from disabled tenants in an effort to force them out of rent- controlled units.

New Santa Monica Librarian Wants to Change Way Libraries Are Used
March 11, 2015 -- Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter believes there’s always room for improvements — even at one of the best public library systems in the country.

County Looks to Create Secure Home for Sexually Exploited Children
March 11, 2015 -- Two Los Angeles County Supervisors are proposing creating a safe harbor for children rescued from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Santa Monica Rent Board Staff Opposes Collecting Buyout Offers
March 10, 2015 -- While a recently passed Santa Monica law makes it a requirement for all landlord-tenant buyout agreements to become public records, the Rent Control Board staff recommends against it being the holder of these records.

Company Seeks to Buy Out Owner of Santa Monica Place
March 10, 2015 -- Santa Monica-based Macerich Co., which owns Santa Monica Place and six other shopping centers around the state, confirmed Monday its board of directors is reviewing an unsolicited buy out offer from an Indianapolis investment group for an estimated $22.4 billion.

Downtown Santa Monica Gets Set for L.A. Marathon
March 10, 2015 -- Each year for the annual ASICS L.A. Marathon, Beth Rich unlocks the doors of her small pub in Downtown Santa Monica at seven in the morning instead of noon.

County Opts into Program that Offers Equal Pay for Relative Caregivers
March 10, 2015 -- Grandparents raising their grandchildren fulltime in Los Angeles County will soon be eligible to receive additional financial support through a state program that provides funds for certain foster children living with relatives, Santa Monica area county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl announced.

Harrison Ford’s Plane Crash Brings International Attention to Santa Monica Airport Debate
March 9, 2015 -- Santa Monica Airport became a hot topic in news media throughout the world last week when famed actor and aviation enthusiast Harrison Ford crashed an airplane that had taken off from the local facility into a Venice golf course.

Santa Monica Parking Structures Get New Elevators
March 9, 2015 -- Work has begun on a $4.7 million project to replace nine aging elevators at three Downtown Santa Monica public parking structures.

Santa Monica Mayor Signs U.S. Supreme Court Brief Favoring Gay Marriage
March 9, 2015 -- Among the dozens of friend of the court, or amicus, briefs filed by the Friday deadline with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay marriage was one signed by Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown and the City itself.

Santa Monica Bike Share Program Prepares to Get Rolling
March 9, 2015 -- After two years of planning, it could soon be a breeze getting around Santa Monica on a “Smart Bike” from just about anywhere in the city.

Majority of Santa Monica City Council Wants 2016 Ballot Measure for Affordable Housing
March 5, 2015 -- Faced with a steep drop in affordable housing, a majority of the Santa Monica City Council is willing to put a proposal on the 2016 ballot aimed at securing funding for affordable housing.

Santa Monica Police Under Fire For Claiming Rise in Burglaries Due to Recent  Prison Measures
February 6, 2015 -- Santa Monica police are under fire by state corrections officials for claiming a recent rise in burglaries in the city is due to two newer California measures aimed at curbing prison overcrowding.

Santa Monica’s Ben Allen Introduces 20 Bills in First Year as Senator
March, 6, 2015 -- Less than a month into his freshman term as a Democratic State senator, Santa Monica native Ben Allen was already making headlines as the co-author of a bill to repeal the “personal belief” exemption allowing parents to opt out of vaccinating their children from diseases such as the measles.

Finalists for Santa Monica Sustainability Awards Announced
February 6, 2015 -- An organic health and beauty spa, a parking corporation, hotels, schools, restaurants and some well-known names like Hulu and Red Bull are among the 19 finalists in the 2015 Santa Monica Sustainability Awards, officials announced.

Trustees Appoint Interim President for Santa Monica Community College
March 5, 2015 -- A top-ranking administrator whose career at Santa Monica College spans three decades will take over as the college’s interim superintendent-president when current SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang officially retires in June, SMC officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica High Students’ Virtual Business Plan Takes Top Prize
March 5, 2015 -- Rosalind Niu might be just a junior at Santa Monica High School, but she also has a pretty sweet title to add as well: She is chief of human resources for a fragrance company – an enterprise called Pheressence.

Detectives Seek Witnesses in Stabbing that Led to Standoff in Santa Monica
March 5, 2015 -- Sheriff’s detectives are seeking witnesses of a fatal stabbing last month -- including a man who may have caught the attack on his cell phone -- that led a standoff in Santa Monica and the arrest of a local man.

Pacific Park Announces Job Fair at Santa Monica Pier
March 5, 2015 -- If you’re energetic and outgoing and would like to get paid for having fun on the beach, Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier has the dream job for you.

Family Tries To Find Answers to Four-Decade-Old Murder in Santa Monica
March 4, 2015 -- As she nears her 80th birthday, Jeanette Dusing of Indianapolis has one particularly heartfelt hope: It is that, in her lifetime, the murder in Santa Monica more than four decades ago of her older sister will finally be resolved.

Santa Monica Legislator Introduces 23 Bills in Sacramento
March 4, 2015 --The deadline to introduce legislation for this year in the State Assembly and Senate passed on Friday, and Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has 23 items with his name on it.

Santa Monica Residents’ Water Conservation Not Enough
March 4, 2015 -- Santa Monica residents reduced their overall water consumption in January but failed to reach the City’s and Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of a 20 percent reduction from 2013, according to new “report card” issued by state officials Tuesday.

Santa Monica Burglaries Jump Nearly One Third
March 4, 2015 -- After a year of declining rates, burglaries in Santa Monica jumped by nearly one third in the early days of 2015, police said.

Santa Monica Police Gear Up For Expo Line’s ‘Challenges’
March 3, 2015 --Metro’s Expo Line isn’t scheduled to begin operating in the City until early next year, but Santa Monica police are preparing now for any law enforcement challenges the light rail might bring, police officials said.

Santa Monica Closely Watches Hermosa Oil Drilling Election
March 3, 2015 -- There is nothing on the ballot for Santa Monica residents this week, but the results of an election in nearby Hermosa Beach could affect people living here.

Santa Monica Survey Finds Strong Support for Ousted Pony Rides
March 3, 2015 -- Visitors to the Main Street Farmer's market “overwhelmingly” favor keeping a pony ride and petting zoo attraction that Santa Monica City Council members voted to eliminate last September, an attorney for the attraction said Monday.

Walk to End Eating Disorders Comes to Santa Monica
March 3, 2015 -- Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder -- millions of Americans have faced an eating disorder some time in their lives.

Council Rejects Santa Monica Beach Workers' Union Plan
March 2, 2015 -- Eleven Santa Monica as-needed beach maintenance workers who attempted to unionize will not be able to do so unless they take the issue to court. The City Council on Tuesday rejected an appeal of Interim City Manager Elaine Polachek’s rejection of their petition to unionize.

Santa Monica Police Warn of Smog Device Thefts
March 2, 2015--It has happened recently in Sacramento, Torrance, Los Angeles -- in cities all across the state – and now Santa Monica police are warning about a recent local wave of catalytic converter thefts.

Sky Watching Events in March at Santa Monica College
March 2, 2015 -- Sky watchers and space enthusiasts can mark their calendars for upcoming events at Santa Monica College spotlighting astronomical phenomenon and human spaceflight.

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