archiveSanta Monica Lookout
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- July 2016

School Board Member to Seek Santa Monica Council Seat
July 31, 2016 -- School Board member Oscar de la Torre pulled nomination papers for City Council Friday, saying that he is running as an independent who will "hit the reset button on development" and fight gentrification in the Pico Neighborhood.

Santa Monica Bike Share Program Draws Riders, Still in Red
July 29, 2016 – After a little more than eight months in business, Santa Monica’s $10 million bike-share program is drawing riders but is still an estimated $54,000 a month in the red.

Santa Monica Candidates Seek Campaign Boost at SMRR Convention
July 29, 2016 -- The first major event of this year’s Santa Monica election will take place Sunday at John Adams Middle School when the powerful Santa convention to make endorsements on the various political races and ballot measures.

Council Finalizes Santa Monica Anti-Corruption Measure for Ballot, Names Friendship City
July 29, 2016
-- After several lengthy sessions tweaking the details, the City Council on Tuesday finalized a ballot measure that proposes changes to Santa Monica’s anti-corruption law commonly known as the Oaks Initiative.

Santa Monica City Council Votes to Close Airport by 2018
July 28, 2016 -- The City Council voted 5-to-0 on Tuesday to close Santa Monica's century-old Airport by June 30, 2018 or when legally possible, although it was cautioned the near future is mired by lawsuits and the City’s battle for ultimate control with the federal government.

Proponents and Opponents Offer Widely Differing Views of Santa Monica Slow-Growth Initiative
July 28, 2016 -- Two very different visions for what Santa Monica would look like following the passage of the slow-growth LUVE initiative were laid out in arguments submitted to the City Clerk’s Office this week that will appear on the ballot.

Santa Monica's Head Librarian Resigns
July 28, 2016 -- A little more than two years after becoming Santa Monica's head librarian, Maria Carpenter is headed across the country back home, City officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Firefighter Decides Against Council Run
July 27, 2016 -- Dominick Bei had originally planned to seek a unique role in the Santa Monica government by serving as both a City Council member and a firefighter. But he told The Lookout this week that he has decided not to run for council.

Santa Monica Switches Bus Routes in Venice After Public Opposition
July 27, 2016 -- After months of public opposition, a plan to improve Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) service to Venice now that Expo Light Rail has arrived is being replaced with routes viewed as safer and more compatible with daily life in the community, officials reported Monday.

Santa Monica, Malibu Families to Receive Applications for Free School Meals
July 27, 2016 -- With about a third of all students already qualifying, Santa Monica-Malibu public school officials Tuesday said families and guardians are being notified of the financial requirements next fall for students to receive free or reduced priced breakfasts and lunches.

Opponents of Santa Monica Slow-Growth Initiative Warn of “Unintended Consequences”
July 26, 2016 -- A new report issued by a group anchored by big names in Santa Monica’s political establishment contends a slow-growth measure on the November 8 ballot will usher in “unintended consequences” in the battle over future development.

Council to Consider New Contract to Help Prevent Hazardous Landfill Leaks
July 26, 2016 -- A switch in vendors will be considered by the City Council Tuesday for the costly job of preventing potentially hazardous gas leaks from a covered landfill under Santa Monica’s City Yards.

Poetry Featured at Santa Monica Beach House
July 26, 2016 -- On Tuesday evening in Santa Monica, three female poets will read from works that explore everything from drone warfare to the intersection of mathematics and spiritually and the loss of a husband.

New Santa Monica Tax Money Could Cover School District's Daily Maintenance, Officials Say
July 25, 2016 -- If a Santa Monica tax measure passes in November, the school district should use some of that potential revenue to meet daily maintenance needs, Financial Oversight Committee member Tom Larmore told the School Board last week.

Council Members Want Resolution Calling for Santa Monica Airport Closure
July 25, 2016 -- It’s no secret that most, if not all, City Council members want Santa Monica Airport closed in the near future. But two council members want to get this opinion on the record.

Cuban Pianist to Showcase Talents at The Edye in Santa Monica
July 25, 2016 -- Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez's music reflects the sense of adventure that led him to defect from Cuba and bring his hybrid sounds to Los Angeles six years ago.

Former Santa Monica Mayor Faces Eviction
July 22, 2016 -- The long-standing feud between former Santa Monica mayor Mike Feinstein and his landlords has taken a new turn that could conclude with Feinstein being evicted from the rent-controlled, four-bedroom house where he has lived for more than 30 years.

Former Santa Monica Council Candidate Aims for School Board
July 22, 2016 -- Phil Brock nearly won a seat on the Santa Monica City Council in 2014, but he will not be trying again this year. He has chosen instead to run for a seat on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) board.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Explores Pluto
July 22, 2016 -- It was first thought to be a moon, then a planet, but Pluto has been downgraded to the status of a dwarf planet, and not even the most massive in the solar system.

Santa Monica Police Arrest Suspect in Violent Sexual Assaults
July 21, 2016 -- Santa Monica police arrested a suspect Tuesday evening in connection with a series of violent sexual assaults and attacks that took place this year on the Westside, officials announced.

Santa Monica College Chemistry "Boot Camp" Wins Statewide Diversity Award
July 21, 2016 -- A Santa Monica College (SMC) Saturday “boot camp” aimed at Latino and African American students struggling in chemistry is one of three winners of a statewide award for helping under-achieving students in California community colleges, officials said.

Online House Tour Video Kicks Off Santa Monica Election Season
July 21, 2016 -- A day after Santa Monica’s election season officially kicked off, an online video showcasing a mansion for sale that features the creator of a slow-growth ballot initiative suddenly started making the rounds.

Congressman Seeks Probe of Santa Monica Airport Ruling
July 20, 2016 -- U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, whose 33rd District includes Santa Monica, has joined a colleague in asking the federal General Accountability Office to investigate a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ruling that thwarted City officials trying to eventually shut the municipal airport.

Incumbents Outnumber Challengers in Santa Monica Board Races
July 20, 2016 -- The pool of potential candidates who so far has pulled papers for elected office in Santa Monica seem to be following a well-trodden path.

Jazz on the Lawn Returns to Santa Monica
July 20, 2016 -- Santa Monica's Jazz on the Lawn summer concert series returns for its 11th year next month with a lineup that offers everything from the kosher to the exotic, City officials announced Tuesday.

Three Proposed High-Rises Among Major Santa Monica Projects Awaiting Fate of LUVE
July 19, 2016 -- A trio of five-story apartment buildings proposed for the high-rise remake of part of Santa Monica’s Lincoln Boulevard inched through the City’s clogged development pipeline toward eventual approval Monday.

Rare Officer-Involved Shooting in Santa Monica to Prompt Look at Protocol
July 19, 2016 -- A shooting Saturday involving a Santa Monica police officer abd a burglary suspect hiding behind a car is likely to lead to a period of “reflection” for a police force that rarely opens fire but is keenly aware of the intensifying national controversy over police shootings of black men, a spokesman said Monday.

Co-Author of LUVE Initiative Among Potential Candidates Vying for City Council
July 19, 2016 -- Armen Melkonians, who co-authored a slow-growth measure on the November ballot, was one of ten individuals who pulled papers for City Council on Monday, the first day applications were made available by the City Clerk.

anta Monica Company’s Video Game Denounced by Hindu Leader
July 18, 2016 -- Hindu religious statesman Rajan Zed has denounced Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard for including a character in its video game that resembles the Hindu goddess Devi.

Santa Monica Councilmember O’Day to Run for Re-Election
July 18, 2016 -- Terry O’Day, the only remaining Santa Monica City Council member facing re-election this fall whose intention was unknown, told The Lookout this weekend that he will run for a second full term.

Santa Monica Board Races Taking Shape
July 18, 2016 -- The races for eight open seats on Santa Monica's three elected boards are taking shape, as candidates can begin filing nomination papers on Monday.

Santa Monica Hires New Assistant City Clerk
July 15, 2016 -- With election season kicking in, Santa Monica has a new Assistant City Clerk to help in the bi-annual preparations for the November elections, City officials announced this week.

Council Debates Proposed Changes to Santa Monica’s Anti-Corruption Law
July 15, 2016 -- As debate continued Tuesday on the City Council dais about preparing a measure to modify Santa Monica’s anti-corruption law, some council members alleged that at least one proposed modification favors candidates who self-fund their campaigns.

Santa Monica Rent Board Demands Ellis Act Study
July 15, 2016 -- Could certain factors lead Santa Monica landlords to get out of the rental business and evict tenants as allowed by California’s Ellis Act? Rent Control Board members want to know and have asked the City Council to call for a study.

Santa Monica Meets Water Reduction Goals, Maintains Conservation Plan
July 14, 2016 -- Santa Monica has dramatically reduced its water use and statewide drought conditions have eased, but the City is keeping in place its water conservation plan, the City's top sustainability official said this week.

Spending for the Santa Monica Pier to Jump in Anticipation of New Crowds
July 14, 2016 -- Entering its 107th year as Santa Monica’s top tourist attraction, the Pier is hiking spending by double digits as operators prepare for crowds from the new Expo Line downtown, the Colorado Esplanade and the re-opening of the famed California Incline.
Santa Monica Councilmember Hopes to Add Irish Sister City
July 14, 2016 -- Santa Monica has sister cities in Germany, Japan and Mexico. Now it could add a city on the Gaelic west coast of Ireland.

LUVE Initiative Placed on Santa Monica Ballot
July 13, 2016 -- The first step in what likely will be an intense Santa Monica election campaign began rather subdued Tuesday when the City Council voted to place the community growth-controlling LUVE initiative on the November ballot with limited discussion.

Developing the Next Santa Monica Technology Leaders
July 13, 2016 -- As Santa Monica continues its rise as one of the leading locations for technology startups in the world, a community program is developing the next generation of leaders in the field.

Santa Monica Wins First Conviction in Battle to Stop Illegal Short-Term Vacation Rentals
July 13, 2016 -- A man who boasted that Santa Monica could never enforce a 2015 crackdown on the booming business of illegal short-term vacation rentals has become the first local operator convicted under the law, regarded as the nation’s toughest.

Lawsuit Claims Santa Monica’s Short-Term Rental Ban Unconstitutional
July 12, 2016 -- An 81-year-old retired LAUSD teacher who says she and her husband need the money earned through renting their Santa Monica house short-term filed a lawsuit against the City for its ban on the practice, which has spiked recently worldwide because of advertising websites such as Airbnb.

Olympics, New Parking Garage on Santa Monica Planning Commission Agenda
July 12, 2016 -- Meeting for the first time in nearly a month, the Planning Commission will tackle a number of issues on Wednesday, including a proposal for a new parking structure and the possibility of Santa Monica hosting Olympic events in 2024.

Santa Monica Bike Share Program to Offer Restructured Rates
July 12, 2016 -- Santa Monica will simplify the fees for its Breeze bike share program next month as it looks ahead to an integrated regional network, officials announced Monday.

Santa Monica Ballot Could Include Tax Measure for Homeless Services
July 11, 2016 -- A tax to support countywide homeless services could be one of several tax measures on the ballot in November for Santa Monica voters.

Downtown Santa Monica Officials Unveil New Survey App
July 11, 2016 -- Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) has launched a new app that allows visitors to quickly weigh in on their vision for the beach city's thriving central business district.

Santa Monica-Malibu Schools Budget Talks Get Heated
July 11, 2016 -- With the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) fundraising arm failing to meet its collection goal this year, the School Board voted late last month to cover the nearly $200,000 gap so that an elementary school arts program wouldn’t be cut.

LUVE Could “Undermine Community’s Vision for Santa Monica’s Future,” Government Staff Report Says
July 8, 2016 -- Santa Monica elections featuring dozens of of development items on the ballot, reduction in affordable housing construction, people unable to rebuild quickly following an earthquake and even increased traffic were some of the scenarios City staff said are possible in a report issued Wednesday on the LUVE initiative.

Clinton Maintains Santa Monica Win in Certified Election Results
July 8, 2016 -- Hillary Clinton remains the local favorite after the final Santa Monica ballots from the June 7 primary election were counted and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors certified the results on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Rep Presents "The Grapes of Wrath" Reading on Sunday
July 8, 2016 -- With more and more low-wage workers using a larger share of their income to put a roof over their heads, Santa Monica Rep hopes its production of "The Grapes of Wrath" on Sunday hits home.

Santa Monica Hires New Public Works Director
July 7, 2016 -- One month after the City of Santa Monica announced the retirement of its public works director, the department's second in command has been promoted to fill the vacancy, officials announced Wednesday.

$345 Million Santa Monica College Bond Measure Placed on Ballot
July 7, 2016 -- For the fourth time since 2002, residents will vote in November whether to support facilities improvements at Santa Monica College after the Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday to place a $345 million bond measure on the ballot.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus Could Go All Electric by 2030
July 7, 2016 -- Riding on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus could soon be an electric experience. The City Council voted last week to set in motion a plan for zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Three Santa Monica Landlords Granted Permission to Move into Their Vacant Buildings
July 6, 2016 -- One is a modest 1911 bungalow in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park with rental property in the back. Another is an Ocean Park home with a mother-in-law unit. And the third is a 1,418-square-foot multi-family residence on 17th Street.

Man Admits to 1980 Bludgeoning Deaths of Elderly Santa Monica Couple
July 6, 2016 -- A man being prosecuted in Los Angeles County Court for the killing of a 79-year-old Hollywood woman has reportedly admitted that he bludgeoned an elderly couple to death in 1980 in Santa Monica.

Weill and Brecht Return Home to Santa Monica
July 6, 2016 -- Composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertold Brecht, whose musicals featuring revenge, murder and broken hearts epitomized the Weimar-era in pre-Nazi Germany, both lived for a spell in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Firefighter Can’t Be on Council and Keep Job, City Attorney Says
July 5, 2016 -- If Santa Monica firefighter Dominick Bei wants to run for City Council, he will have to quit his day job, a city attorney says.

Amendments to Santa Monica’s Anti-Corruption Law Headed for Ballot
July 5, 2016 -- After a discussion among officials and activists that only a lawyer could love, the City Council on Tuesday directed staff to craft a ballot measure to strengthen Santa Monica's anti-corruption law.

Santa Monica Library Takes Books to the Beach
July 5, 2016 -- The Santa Monica Public Library is giving new meaning to the term "a good beach read" this summer when it launches the second annual "SMPL at the Beach 2016" this week. Friday will mark the first in a series this year of five seaside pop-up libraries
Santa Monica Council Repeals Arizona Boycott

July 1, 2016 -- Arizona has been welcomed back into the Santa Monica family. The City Council on Tuesday rescinded its six-year boycott of the neighboring state, although with significantly less fanfare than when it voted for the blacklisting.

New Santa Monica Parking Rates to Take Effect Tuesday
July 1, 2016 -- Parking rates in Santa Monica's Downtown and Civic Center areas will increase Tuesday in an effort to deter those taking the new Expo light rail line from using public parking structures for what’s called “park and ride” service.

Former Santa Monica High Principal Returns as Co-Interim Superintendent
July 1, 2016 -- After a 16-year absence, former Santa Monica High School principal Sylvia Rousseau is returning to the local school district. She was appointed co-interim superintendent on Wednesday.

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