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

Santa Monica Council Rejects Rival Measure to Counter LUVE
June 30, 2016 -- A last-ditch effort to put a City-backed measure on the November ballot to rival the slow-growth LUVE initiative died quickly after failing to garner a second vote at Tuesday's Santa Monica City Council meeting.

Santa Monica Ballot Will Include Two Sales Tax Measures
June 30, 2016 -- Shoppers in Santa Monica could soon be paying more money in sales tax if two measures -- one local and another countywide -- are approved in the November election.

Fourth of July Parade in Santa Monica Expected to Draw Big Crowd
June 30, 2016 -- A decade ago, it was just a tiny hometown parade. Time, though, can make a difference.

Second “Wellbeing” Study to Analyze Life in Santa Monica
June 29, 2016 -- A year after discovering all is not fun in the sun in Santa Monica -- particularly for the middle aged -- a second “Wellbeing” study is underway to analyze the quality of life for the seaside city’s estimated 93,640 residents.

Santa Monica Unemployment at Lowest Level in at Least 6 Years
June 29, 2016 -- The unemployment rate has been sinking in Santa Monica this year to recent records, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Santa Monica Surveys Rent Control Tenants to Assess Needs
June 29, 2016 -- A new City survey is trying to determine how many Santa Monica tenants can no longer afford even rent-controlled units and would qualify for a new, but little-known, pilot project that offers subsidies.

Path Toward $15 Minimum Wage in Santa Monica Begins Friday
June 28, 2016 -- Some workers in Santa Monica will receive a raise on Friday when the first phase of the new local minimum wage law goes into effect.

Auditors to Comb $90 Million in Santa Monica Tax Receipts
June 28, 2016 -- The City of Santa Monica is expected Tuesday to hire outside auditors to comb through receipts for an estimated $90 million in taxes collected from hotels, businesses licenses and through public and private parking fees.

Gemini 10 Featured at Santa Monica College Planetarium Next Month
June 28, 2016 -- Sixty years ago, astronaut Michael Collins stepped out of Gemini 10 and became the first person to "spacewalk" to another spacecraft in orbit. Unfortunately no pictures captured the event. His camera drifted away.

LETTERS: The Pharmaceutical Industry's Misinformation Campaign
June 28, 2016
-- Thank you for your coverage of the LA County Board of Supervisors failure to support an industry-funded pharmaceutical and sharps take-back program.

Santa Monica Council to Consider LUVE Alternative for Ballot
June 27, 2016 -- Countering a November ballot initiative that generally requires voter approval for building projects taller than 32 feet, the City Council on Tuesday will discuss placing a competing measure before voters this fall.

Santa Monica’s LUVE Initiative Not Unique Concept in California
June 27, 2016 -- If voters approve Santa Monica’s LUVE initiative in November, it would radically change the local development process, but it would not be a unique moment in California history.

Santa Monica Schools Lose and Gain a Principal
June 27, 2016 -- It has been an eventful past several days in Santa Monica’s public schools with changes at the top levels.

Santa Monica Mayor Likely Running for Re-Election
June 24, 2016 -- It appears Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez will attempt to do something in November that he failed to do more than two decades ago -- win a second consecutive term.

Santa Monica Streets Getting Busier, Police Chief Says
June 24, 2016 -- Santa Monica’s streets are getting busier, with new visitors alighting from Expo trains downtown and drivers so frustrated with gridlock that they are spilling onto quiet side streets as an alternative.

Santa Monica Tongva Park Summer Series Offers Music, Dance
June 24, 2016 -- Ancient music from the Americas, traditional Japanese drumming and dance music that will get feet -- both young and old -- moving will be featured this summer at Tongva Park.

Santa Monica Ranks Third in County for City Employee Compensation Costs, Survey Finds
June 23, 2016 -- Pay and benefits for Santa Monica City employees were the third-highest in Los Angeles County last year, averaging $152,050 annually for the municipality’s full-time workforce, a new survey has found.

Santa Monica Ballot Could Feature Three Tax Measures
June 23, 2016 -- Santa Monica voters will face a large number of decisions at the federal, State and local levels in November, including possibly three tax measures.

Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Announces Council Bid
June 23, 2016 -- Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy, who made an unsuccessful bid for City Council two years ago, announced Tuesday that she would run again for a seat in November.

Santa Monica Malibu School Board to Consider $171 Million Budget
June 22, 2016 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School board on Wednesday will consider a general fund budget of approximately $171 million for the coming school year that includes a 10 percent increase in district-paid health care benefits, raises for teachers and other employees and a projected fund balance of nearly $21 million.

Santa Monica Asks for Help Updating Landmarks Inventory
June 22, 2016 -- From Santa Monica’s old Rapp Saloon on Second Street, built in 1875 as a beer garden, to the lavish Spanish Colonial Revival/ Art Deco-inspired Charmont Apartments, constructed on California Avenue for the 1920s rich and famous, Santa Monica has more than a century’s worth of modern history tallied and saved.

Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival to Be Held Next Month
June 22, 2016 -- Films by students in local schools will be among the three dozen shorts screened at The 11th Annual Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival next month, event officials announced.

Santa Monica Welcomes First Day of Summer with Big Beach Crowds
June 21, 2016 -- The first day of summer 2016 arrived Monday for Santa Monica with bigger- than- usual crowds at the beach, as inland Southern California fled the final baking blast of yet another heat wave, this one breaking new records.

Santa Monica Project Named Finalist for Global Award
June 21, 2016 -- Ocean Avenue South, a mixed-use housing complex that met stiff opposition when it was approved a decade ago, is a finalist in the 2016 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Awards for Excellence.

Drivers License Bill Passes State Assembly Panel
June 21, 2016 -- State legislation to stop the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for people with minor traffic offenses who fail to appear in court or to pay initial fines that snowball into huge financial burdens passed a key committee Monday.

Olympics Could Come to Santa Monica in 2024
June 20, 2016 -- Don’t go looking for tickets quite yet because it’s a long way from being official, but at least three Summer Olympic events could take place in Santa Monica in 2024.

Santa Monica Group Says County’s Decision on Syringe Policy a "Setback"
June 20, 2016 -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ decision last week not to institute a major drug and syringe (also known as “sharps”) take-back program funded by pharmaceutical companies has angered various organizations, including Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay.

Opening of Santa Monica's California Incline Delayed
June 20, 2016 -- The reopening of Santa Monica's newly reconstructed California incline has been delayed until the end of summer, City officials announced last week.

Alcohol Permits Approved for Santa Monica Brewery, Movie Theater
June 17, 2016 -- In a rare short Santa Monica Planning Commission meeting that finished in a little over 15 minutes, two local businesses received the permits they requested to serve alcohol to customers.

Santa Monica Emergency Response Improves, Officials Say
June 17, 2016 -- A consolidated dispatch system begun last year has improved emergency response in Santa Monica, Communications Administrator Chris Herron told the City Council on Tuesday.

Santa Monica College Awards Fourth Annual Transfer Scholarship
June 17, 2016 -- A Santa Monica College (SMC) student who is the first in his family to go to college has been awarded fourth annual Chui L. Tsang Transfer Scholarship, SMC officials announced this week.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Ushers in Major Changes
June 16, 2016 -- Those out on the town this weekend can hop a Big Blue Bus cab to or from the 17th St./Santa Monica College Expo Station as part of a new on-demand service that kicks off Friday night.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Starts Search for New Superintendent
June 16, 2016 -- With weeks left before the superintendent's departure, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is seeking public imput on a replacement at two sessions Thursday night.

Police Arrest Suspect in Santa Monica's Second Homicide of Year
June 16, 2016 -- Police on Tuesday reported the arrest of a member of the U.S. Navy in the beating and stabbing death of a Santa Monica resident this weekend.

Santa Monica Council Orders Study of LUVE Initiative
June 15, 2016 –- Faced with a November 8 ballot measure that places most new development in Santa Monica in the hands of voters, the City Council on Tuesday rejected calls to adopt the LUVE initiative and instead ordered a 28-day study of the measure.

Alcohol on the Menu for Santa Monica Planning Commission Meeting
June 15, 2016 -- Two unrelated Santa Monica businesses will be asking the Planning Commission on Wednesday for the right to serve customers alcohol.

Suspect Pleads not Guilty in Santa Monica Weapons Case
June 15, 2016 -- A 20-year-old Indiana man arrested Sunday on a Santa Monica street with an arsenal in his car pleased not guilty to three felony counts and one misdemeanor count on Tuesday, District Attorney's officials said.

Santa Monica Rent Board Wants Study on Ellis Act Eviction “Predictors”
June 14, 2016 -- Nicole Phillis, chair of Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board, said nobody knows for sure how measures such as the LUVE Initiative, likely going before voters in November, and the Downtown Community Plan, currently under review, will affect the future of the City’s rent-controlled units.

Proposed Raises Push Many Santa Monica Employees Well into Six-Figure Salaries
June 14, 2016 -- From the head of Santa Monica’s cemetery to its bike-share coordinator, librarians, civil engineers and lifeguards, many Santa Monica City employees could get raises that would make six-figure salaries the norm for many workers.

Santa Monica Gets Ready to Celebrate Independence Day
June 14, 2016 -- Can’t wait to party on the Fourth of July? No problem. Santa Monica will start celebrating early again this year.

Santa Monica Board Sets Maximum $25 Monthly Rent Increase
June 13, 2016 -- Monthly residential rent charges in Santa Monica could increase as much as 1.3 percent or $25, whichever is smaller, beginning in September.

Coastal Commission OKs Santa Monica College’s Malibu Campus Plans
June 13, 2016 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) passed one of last major hurdles toward building a campus in Malibu when the California Coastal Commission last Thursday declined to hear an appeal of that city's approval of the project.

Indiana Man Arrested in Santa Monica with Arsenal in Car
June 13, 2016 -- An Indiana man was arrested in Santa Monica early Sunday morning after police found three firearms and chemicals that could be used to make explosives inside his car, police said.

Letters: Robust "Debate" Led to Santa Monica League's Opposition to LUVE
June 13, 2016 --Mr. Melkonians' comments in your article of June 8, 2016 indicate that he doesn't understand the process by which the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica decides its positions on local ballot measures ("Santa Monica League of Women Voters Accused of Bias," June 8, 2016).

Clinton Wins Santa Monica’s Presidential Primary
June 10, 2016 -- As she did statewide, Hillary Clinton easily won the Democratic presidential primary election in Santa Monica on Tuesday, according to preliminary results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar.

Santa Monica Senator’s Measure Challenging "Citizens United" Cleared for Ballot
June 10, 2016 -- California voters will be able to weigh in on the controversial 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned campaign spending limits for corporations on First Amendment grounds thanks to a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica.

Transient Found Guilty of Two Santa Monica Murders
June 10, 2016 -- A 50-year-old transient man was found guilty Wednesday of strangling to death two homeless women in Santa Monica more than a decade ago, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney.

LUVE Initiative Heads to Santa Monica City Council
June 9, 2016 -- The first vote on a proposal from the slow-growth activist group Residocracy that would place a significant number of Santa Monica development decisions in the hands of residents is expected to take place on Tuesday.

Bay Area Urbanist to Lead Santa Monica Downtown Workshop
June 9, 2016 -- After a brief pause, Santa Monica’s heated debate over future development downtown heads back into the public arena Thursday when the City hosts a Bay-area urbanist known for creating welcoming public spaces amid congested city streets.

Santa Monica College to Award Record Number of Degrees
June 9, 2016 -- Santa Monica College brings its academic year to a formal close next week with commencement ceremonies that include remarks from Loyola Marymount University President Timothy Law Snyder and the awarding of a record number of degrees and certificates to its students.

Santa Monica League of Women Voters Accused of Bias
June 8, 2016 --The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica voted last weekend to oppose a ballot initiative that puts many development decisions in the hands of local voters, triggering accusations of bias because some of the group's officials belong to an organization created to defeat the measure.

Santa Monica's Head of Public Works to Retire Next Month
June 8, 2016 -- After five years with the City of Santa Monica, few would recognize Martin Pastucha, although the more than 500 workers he supervises are a common sight across the city.

Santa Monica Beach House to Present Myths from Around the World
May 8, 2016 -- The Post Mortem Movement Theater Company kicked off its summer Residency at the Annenberg Community Beach House this month with public rehearsals of a new on-site work and a public workshop.

Santa Monica Voters Head to the Polls for Presidential Primary
June 7, 2016 -- For the first time in many years, national attention will be focused on a presidential primary election in Santa Monica and California as a whole.

Santa Monica-Malibu Principals Warn of Program Cuts
June 7, 2016 -- With less than a month left to raise education funds, principals in all 16 schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system Monday warned of cuts in the arts, sciences and even reading if more money is not contributed.

Santa Monica Celebrates New Expo Line, Carless Alternatives
June 7, 2016 -- Normally car-clogged Santa Monica cleared nearly two miles of all cars Sunday in an open streets festival that celebrated riding bikes, walking and hopping a ride to the coast on the new Expo Light Rail line to downtown.

City Officials, Residents Plan Future of Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood
June 6, 2016 -- An important process for Santa Monica’s most culturally diverse neighborhood began last week when the Planning Commission had an initial discussion about the Pico Neighborhood Plan -- a document that will establish regulations and goals for the area.

Former City of Santa Monica Vehicle Sold with Expired CNG tank in Arizona
June 6, 2016 -- When Vanessa Spahn and her husband purchased a used van in Arizona that had belonged to the City of Santa Monica, little did she know that the vehicle was unlawful to drive.

Santa Monica College Reading Series Tackles Timely Issues
June 6, 2016 -- The Santa Monica Rep theater company will launch its first reading series this month with a mix of Depression-era classics and contemporary plays on women's liberation, Santa Monica College officials announced last week.

Letters: Santa Monica Council Candidate Misunderstands LUVE
June 6, 2016 -- If Firefighter Dominick Bei’s understanding of the LUVE initiative is any indication of his ability to decipher simple documents then he should probably stick to fighting fires.

Santa Monica and Expo Reach Settlement on Downtown Station
June 3, 2016 -- The legal battle between the City of Santa Monica and the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo) over the cost of the land where the Downtown light rail station sits came to an end this week with the announcement of a settlement.

Santa Monica Firefighter Plans City Council Bid
June 3, 2016 -- The Santa Monica City Council race is just starting to heat up, and the contest for four seats could include a seven-year veteran of the local fire department.

Santa Monica to Host Open Streets Event Sunday
June 3, 2016 -- Five years in the making, the Colorado Esplanade will be opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony Sunday that will be followed by "Coast," Santa Monica's First Open Streets Event.

Coastal Panel Staff Backs Santa Monica College’s Malibu Campus Plans
June 2, 2016 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) received news in its favor late last week from the California Coastal Commission when the State panel’s staff issued a report recommending support for a 25,000-square-foot campus in Malibu.

Santa Monica Offers New Will-Call Locations for Tuesday Primary
June 2, 2017 -- Santa Monica is joining other cities in Los Angeles County for a new Will Call pilot project that allows voters to pick up ballots early for the June 7 primary and hand them in at one of a dozen new locations throughout the county, City officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica Celebrates Bard This Summer
June 2, 2016 -- Those planning to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death can turn to Santa Monica College to help them count the ways.

Santa Monica LUVE Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot
June 1, 2016 –- A measure that would require a public vote on most new development in Santa Monica has gathered enough valid signatures to be placed on the November ballot, sponsors of the initiative said Tuesday.

Portion of Santa Monica Beach Part of Dune Restoration Project
June 1, 2016 -- A three-acre portion of Santa Monica State Beach will be included in a pilot project to restore coastal dunes, part of an effort to restore native plant and animal species and demonstrate a natural approach dealing with flooding and other issues.

Trio That Stopped Possible Date Rape in Santa Monica Win Wide Acclaim
June 1, 2016 -- Call them “Charlie’s Angels,” Santa Monica style – although, as the three women are quick to warn, “This is no laughing matter.”
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