archiveSanta Monica Lookout
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- April 2017

Local Soda Tax Interests Santa Monica Commission, Council Seems Unreceptive
April 28, 2017 -- Santa Monica officials say the city is in desperate need of more money to fund parks creation and maintenance, and one idea to generate that cash is a soda tax.

Big Money Spent for Two Downtown Santa Monica Buildings
April 28, 2017 -- Major area property owner Douglas Emmett announced this week that the company has acquired two Downtown Santa Monica office buildings from the Blackstone Group for a combined $352.8 million.

Multiple Moons on View at Santa Monica College Planetarium Next Month
April 28, 2017 -- If moons excite your curiosity, the Santa Monica College planetarium will showcase not only the early rising gibbous moon, but all four moons circling Jupiter next month.

Santa Monica City No-Cars Campaign Making Big Impression, Officials Say
April 27, 2017-- GoSaMo, the advertising blitz by the City of Santa Monica to ditch cars for alternative transportation, may have reached as many as 60 million people in its first year, officials said Tuesday.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Concept for Lincoln Streetscape Re-Design
April 27, 2017--The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday approved a radically different streetscape for Lincoln Boulevard it hopes will made it safer for those using alternatives to driving on one the city’s most car-clogged thoroughfares.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Evacuated After Fire Suppression System Goes Off
April 27, 2017 -- Passengers aboard a Big Blue Bus that runs on Ocean Park Boulevard were evacuated Thursday morning after the bus' fire suppression system shut the engine down, Santa Monica transit officials said.

Proposed Santa Monica Hotels Offer Revenue Bounty
April 26, 2017 -- Money is tight these days at Santa Monica City Hall, but a huge bounty is potentially headed the City's way. Accessing it requires the City Council to approve three large mixed-use projects downtown that feature upscale hotels.

Officials Ground Proposal for Interim Replacement as SMO Runway is Shortened
April 26, 2017 -- A proposal to create a temporary runway for use at Santa Monica Airport while the existing one is shortened is being flagged as potentially unsafe and could be grounded for good.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Ranked Among Nation's Top Communities for Music
April 26, 2017
-- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) was one of two school districts in Los Angeles County to be recognized as one of the nation's best communities for music.

Battle Pits Slow-Growth Residents Against Big Hotels Slated for Downtown Santa Monica
April 25, 2017 -- (UPDATED) Slow-growth advocates see the three big luxury hotels proposed for downtown Santa Monica as towering massive structures that will erase what is left the City's quaint beach-town feel. Proponents and City officials, however, see them as sustainable economic engines that generate less traffic than housing or commercial development and will pump millions of dollars a year into the City's coffers.

City of Santa Monica Declares Wednesday “Denim Day”
April 25, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica is declaring Wednesday “Denim Day,” part of a growing nationwide campaign -- now in its 18th year -- to help prevent, and educate the public about, sexual violence.

Santa Monica High School Wins National Ocean Sciences Bowl
April 25, 2017 -- Students from Santa Monica High School took home the top prize this weekend in the 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), School District officials announced Monday.

Future Santa Monica Ballot Could Feature Parks-Funding Tax Measure
April 24, 2017 -- Santa Monica does not have enough parks, and there is not enough money in the budget to increase the number or to upgrade the existing ones. That is the current state of affairs, according to Karen Ginsberg, Santa Monica’s director of community and cultural services.

First Hearing on Santa Monica Downtown Community Plan Set for Wednesday
April 24, 2017 -- Expect a big crowd in Santa Monica City Council Chambers on Wednesday. That is when the Planning Commission will hold the first hearing on the Downtown Community Plan, a proposed document that sets the rules and vision for development in the area over the next 20 years.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Appoints New Director of Early Learning
April 24, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board last week appointed Webster Elementary School principal Susan Samarge-Powell, a 21-year veteran of local schools, as the district's new director of early learning.

Uber-Like Helicopter Service May Be Walking Fine Line on Santa Monica Permitting Requirements
April 21, 2017 -- The outcry over the helicopter company Blade flying passengers from Santa Monica Airport to the Coachella music festival last week raises uncertain permitting issues similar to those swirling around the Uber rideshare services it is compared to.

Santa Monica Senator’s Environmental Literacy Bill Passes Key Committee
April 21, 2017 -- Legislation introduced by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) that would connect public schools with “community resources” to promote “high quality environmental literacy” in California passed the Senate’s Education Committee on Wednesday.

Santa Monica Library Presentation Offers Ways to Find Reliable Health Information Online
April 21, 2017 -- If you've sometimes wondered if the medical website you just visited is trustworthy, you may find some answers at a presentation next month at the Santa Monica Library.

Santa Monica-Malibu Split Likely to be Pulled from School Board Meeting
April 20, 2017 -- The hot topic of cost and other issues involving the split of Malibu from the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system is likely to be pulled from tonight’s agenda, officials announced late Wednesday.

Proposed Change Sparks Worries Over Lobbying Law for Santa Monica
April 20, 2017 -- City officials said they were only trying to clarify -- even strengthen -- a law designed to shine a bright light on the scores of paid lobbyists who jockey for influence at Santa Monica City Hall.

Santa Monica Pier Seeks Volunteer Docents for Historical Tours
April 20, 2017 -- If you know that Popeye was born in a typhoon off of the Santa Monica Pier and are fascinated by local lore, you may consider becoming a volunteer docent and guide visitors through the rich history of the century-old landmark.

Santa Monica Watchdog Group Warns New Plan Primes Downtown for “Runaway” Building and Traffic
April 19, 2017 -- After years of alterations, the final City plan designed to guide new building in the heart of Santa Monica has left downtown primed for "runaway” development and traffic, a local watchdog group is warning.

Cautious Hope for Proposed Citizen Committee on Santa Monica City Employee Costs
April 19, 2017 -- Just a day after being recommended, a novel new City proposal for a citizen committee to help delve into high compensation for City of Santa Monica employees was already getting early reviews -- and an applicant -- on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Debate Team Takes Home Eight Awards
April 19, 2017 -- There's no arguing that Santa Monica College's Speech and Debate team is on a roll. The team won eight awards in six different events at the Phi Ro Pi national speech and debate tournament last week in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Helicopters Flying from Santa Monica Airport to Coachella Festival Spark New Controversy
April 18, 2017 -- The first helicopter whisking passengers from Santa Monica Airport to the 2017 Coachella festival hadn’t yet taken off when the demands to halt started landing in City Hall in-boxes.

Residents Committee Recommended to Examine High Cost of Santa Monica City Employee Compensation
April 18, 2017 -- Faced with rising complaints about salaries and benefits for Santa Monica City employees -- among the highest for California municipalities -- staff is recommending a temporary panel of residents be created to examine the contentious issue.

Santa Monica Library Celebrates Comics Next Month
April 18, 2017 -- Comics books have entertained generations for more than a century and kids are still turning their pages well into the digital age. Beginning May 1, the Santa Monica Library will launch a week-long celebration of comic books that culminates May 6 with Free Comic Book Day, which has been celebrated on the first Saturday in May by comic book stores and libraries since 2002.

Santa Monica-Malibu Officials ‘Hopeful’ Norovirus Eradicated from Schools
April 17, 2017 -- With students returning to classes Monday after a two-week break, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) says it is “hopeful” the norovirus outbreak that has been plaguing local campuses since February has been eliminated.

Santa Monica Senator’s Bill Would Ban Many Plastic Food Containers
April 17, 2017 -- A bill introduced in February by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) would prohibit businesses from serving prepared food in plastic containers that can’t be recycled locally.

Santa Monica College Student Film to Screen at Cannes
April 17, 2017 -- A short film written and directed by Santa Monica College student Carrie Finklea will be screened during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France next month, college officials announced Friday.

County Board Supports Santa Monica Representative's ‘Sensitive Locations Policy’ for Immigrants
April 14, 2017 -- Sheila Kuehl, the Santa Monica resident who represents the city and the surrounding area on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, wants to limit the federal government’s ability to investigate immigration matters and enforce related laws.

Santa Monica High School Graduation Rate Sees Small Slide
April 14, 2017 -- A smaller percentage of Santa Monica High School students graduated with their class in 2016 than did the previous year, according to statistics released this week by the California Department of Education.

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Debuts 'Shark Frenzy' Ride
April 14, 2014 -- Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday officially launched the world's first shark-themed Tilt-a-Whirl ride, the amusement park's officials announced.

Santa Monica Downtown Plan Seeks to Strike a Compromise, Officials Say, But Some Remain Skeptical
April 13, 2017
-- How do you find common ground between developers proposing 20-plus-story high-rises and slow-growth activists who want most buildings in Santa Monica's downtown to be no more than two stories tall?

City Council to Consider Changes to Santa Monica's Lobbying Regulations
April 13, 2017 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider amending its regulations for lobbyists to clarify which City officials are covered by the ordinance approved last year and tweak some of the registration and reporting requirements for lobbyists.

Santa Monica Set to Purchase New Fleet of 'Firefly' Maintenance Vehicles
April 13, 2017 -- A new fleet of three-wheeled electric utility vehicles called "Firefly" could soon be used to help clean Santa Monica's Promenade and parks if the City Council approves the nearly $850,000 purchase at its meeting Tuesday.

Santa Monica Review' Releases Spring Issue This Month
April 13, 2017 -- A launch party for the Spring 2017 issue of "Santa Monica Review" -- the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college -- will be held this month, college officials announced this week.

Fourth Santa Monica Teenager Dead Since October
April 12, 2017
-- A 17-year-old-girl whose body was found on the banks of the Los Angeles River in Long Beach Thursday has been identified as a Santa Monica resident who attended a local school, marking the fourth teenager from the beach city to die in the past six months.

Eleven Santa Monica Businesses Win Sustainable Quality Awards
April 12, 2017 -- A seafood restaurant on the pier, a manufacturer of digital audio interfaces, a designer of pre-fab homes and a high-end shopping mall are the winners of Santa Monica's 2017 Sustainable Quality Award Grand Prizes, award officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Pier Dance Festival Could Become Annual Event
April 12, 2017
-- Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) -- the Santa Monica-based dance troupe that is creating a buzz in urban dance circles -- has helped organize a free two-night dance festival at the Pier that sponsors hope will become an annual event.

New Santa Monica Airport Fuel Provider to Take Over Sunday
April 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica Airport (SMO) will have a new self-service fuel provider starting Easter Sunday after the unexpected departure of American Flyers, which has been a longtime fixture at the airport.

Santa Monica Commercial Property Prices Hit Record Highs
April 11, 2017 -- Douglas Emmett's recent $287 million contract to purchase an 11-story building in Downtown Santa Monica highlights a heated real estate market that may be reaching its peak, real estate experts said.

City Seeks Input for Santa Monica Beach Trail Improvements
April 11, 2017 -- Those wishing to weigh in on the long-awaited project to improve walking and biking along Santa Monica Beach have ten days to participate in an online survey.

Next School Board Meeting Could Determine Path Toward Santa Monica-Malibu Split
April 10, 2017 -- There is only one meeting of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) board this month, but that lone session is a big one. The hot topic of school district separation is on the April 20 agenda.

Santa Monica City Manager Praises Changed Coastal Commission
April 10, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole applauded what he called the “dynamic and positive new tone” coming from the California Coastal Commission in a blog entry recently posted on the City’s website.

Santa Monica College to Stage Rare Performance of Coward Play
April 10, 2017 -- When Noel Coward wrote his play "Semi-Monde" in 1926, he knew it would be censored. What he couldn't have guessed was that the play--which will see a rare staging at Santa Monica College this month--would see only a handful of productions over the next 90 years.

Santa Monica Senator’s Petition Disclosure Bill Passes Committee
April 7, 2017 -- A bill written and introduced by Santa Monica State Sen. Ben Allen that would require initiative petition signature gatherers to disclose their top funders was approved by one committee this week and has been sent to another for further review.

Assembly Passes Santa Monica Lawmaker’s Dinosaur Bill
April 7, 2017 -- One giant step for extinct species was taken Thursday when the State Assembly approved a bill introduced by Rep. Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) to make California’s official dinosaur the duck-billed Augustynolophus morissi.

Annenberg's Fabled Sunnylands Estate Topic of Talk at Santa Monica LibraryApril 7, 2017 -- Sunnylands, the fabled winter home built by Walter and Leonore Annenberg, whose foundation helped salvage what would become Santa Monica's public beach house, will be the subject of a talk at the Main Library this month.

Final Draft of Santa Monica Downtown Plan to Be Released Next Week
April 6, 2017 -- After more than six years in the planning, the final version of a blueprint for future development in downtown Santa Monica will be released next week, addressing contentious issues over the heights and sizes of new buildings.

Santa Monica College Receives Innovation Award
April 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica College will develop innovative technology tools that will help boost student completion rates and reduce costs thanks to a $2 million Award for Innovation in Higher Education, school officials announced Wednesday.

Higher Sales Taxes Start Kicking in for Santa Monica
April 6, 2017 -- A higher new sales tax arrived in Santa Monica Sunday, translating into a penny for every dollar spent on purchases to support local affordable housing and education, with another hike looming this summer.

City Child-Care Subsidies for Needy in Santa Monica Fall Short
April 5, 2017 -- Demand for City-funded subsidies to help pay for child care has jumped more than 50 percent in the last fiscal year, far exceeding the $867,500 earmarked to help financially-pressed Santa Monica families, according to a report released Tuesday.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus to Launch App for Passes
April 5, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s municipal bus system hopes to launch a smartphone app soon that allows customers to purchase bus passes, a move meant to buoy flagging ridership.

Santa Monica College Lecture Series Shares Latest Scientific Research
April 5, 2017
-- Epigenetics, coral reefs and catastrophic natural events will be the topics of Santa Monica College's ongoing Spring 2017 Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series, school officials announced this week.

“Parklets” to Debut in Santa Monica
April 4, 2017 -- In park-starved Santa Monica, an experiment will soon test whether the populace can find the soothing power of open space in tiny spots once meant for cars.

Pedestrian Killed Crossing Santa Monica Boulevard
April 4, 2017 -- A woman crossing Santa Monica Boulevard early Monday morning became the fifth pedestrian fatality in Santa Monica this year.

Seat on Santa Monica Planning Commission Could Be Up for Grabs
April 4, 2017 -- Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Amy Nancy Anderson’s term of office ends in June, potentially spurring a race for the City’s most powerful board.

Santa Monica’s Noise Ordinance Altered to Accommodate Free Speech Concerns
April 3, 2017 -- Loud protests outside the Shore Hotel can continue starting as early as 7 a.m. without fear of police interference following the Santa Monica City Council’s passage of an amendment to the noise ordinance last Tuesday.

PETA Gives Kudos (and Vegan Cookies) to Santa Monica Fire Department for Dramatic Dog Rescue
April 3, 2017 -- The top local feel-good story of the year so far was extended this past week when the radical animal rights group PETA recognized Santa Monica firefighters with the Compassionate Fire Department Award.

Santa Monica Author Unveils Government ESP Probes
April 3, 2017 -- For four decades, the U.S. government has been secretly investigating extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. On Monday night, April 3, investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen will tell the story of "these radical, controversial programs" during a presentation at the Santa Monica Public Library at 7 p.m.

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