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

Panel Reaches Proposed Agreement on Santa Monica-Malibu School District Split
February 28, 2017 -- After 11 months of sometimes rocky talks, the committee negotiating Malibu’s split from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District said Monday it has agreed to terms of separation it will present to the School Board.

Slow-Growth Activists Girding for Fight Against “Plaza at Santa Monica” Downtown
February 28, 2017 -- A Santa Monica slow-growth group is rallying members behind a proposal to create a sprawling urban park on 2.5 acres of City-owned real estate downtown that officials want developed as a 12-story mixed-use “plaza.”

Santa Monica College Media Lecture Series Announces March Lineup
February 28, 2017 -- Working in diverse media -- from digital journalism to Hollywood -- will be the topic of four discussions as Santa Monica College (SMC) continues its Communication & Media Series next month, college officials announced last week.

Police Investigate Shooting Death of Santa Monica Teenager
February 27, 2017 -- A man identified as 18-year-old Juan Sebastian Castillo was found dead of a gunshot wound early Sunday morning lying on a sidewalk near UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, according to police.

Santa Maria Moves Toward District-Based Voting; Could Santa Monica Be Next?
February 27, 2017 -- While the effort to change how Santa Monica’s City Council is elected from at-large races to district-based contests is being argued in court, a similarly sized city in Santa Barbara County has decided to make the shift.

Council to Begin Implementation of Santa Monica Airport Closure Deal
February 27, 2017 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve measures to begin the process toward implementing the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) closure deal finalized with the federal government a month ago.

LETTERS: Santa Monica Should Encourage Home Ownership
February 27, 2017 -- No other group attracts the level of vitriol that Santa Monica and Los Angeles city governments direct towards property owners, writes former Rent Control Board member Robert Kronovet.

Santa Monica Government Takes Financial Hit with Wells Fargo Divestment
February 24, 2017 -- It won’t send the City into bankruptcy, but the local government will lose money because of the City Council’s decision to sever Santa Monica’s ties with Wells Fargo, according to a report released this week by Finance Director Gigi Decavalles-Hughes.

Santa Monica Celebrates Four Parks Saturday
February 24, 2017 -- Santa Monica on Saturday will celebrate the opening of a new park near a rail stop, the renaming of another and renovations at two other parks, City officials said.

Santa Monica’s Marijuana Study Session Moved to March
February 24, 2017 -- City officials had said late last year that the Santa Monica City Council would hold a study session on marijuana business licensing in February, but that meeting has apparently been moved to March.

Stage Set for Final Battle Over Downtown Santa Monica Development Plan
February 23, 2017 -- After more than six years in the making, the final draft of Santa Monica's Downtown Community Plan (DCP) will be released April 12, City officials announced Wednesday, setting the stage for the final battle over future development in the heart of the city.

Skyrocketing Rents Take Brief Break in Santa Monica, Survey
February 23, 2017 -- After years of the steep hikes that produced today’s sky-high rents, Santa Monica tenants are getting a tiny and very brief break, a new survey of rents in metropolitan Los Angeles shows.

Santa Monica College Lecture Series “Women, Society, & Power” Kicks Off Next Month
February 23, 2017 -- Women and their bodies will be the focus of a lecture series at Santa Monica College (SMC) next month, college officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica City’s Pension Debt Ranked Among Highest in California
February 22, 2017 -- As it scrambles to avert the red ink of a predicted recession, the City of Santa Monica ranks among the highest in California in some employee pension cost indicators, according to a Stanford University research institute study.

Santa Monica Library Earns Top Rating
February 22, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Public Library has once again been ranked as one of the top libraries in the nation by the Library Journal (LB), City officials announced Wednesday.

Deadline Nears for Santa Monica’s “Most Loved” Business Contest
February 22, 2017 -- The deadline is near, but you can still send an online vote of love to your favorite local business in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Council Weighs Options on Pursuing Clean Energy Goals
February 21, 2017 -- In the clean energy game, everybody wants Santa Monica on its team. The City Council heard from suitors and their advocates last Tuesday on Valentine’s Day for Santa Monica to be a part of their clean energy effort.

Santa Monica Councilmember Headed to Japan
February 21, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica will be recognized during a ceremony several thousand miles away next month, and Councilmember Tony Vazquez will be there to celebrate.

Santa Monica Conservancy to Celebrate the Legacy of Architect Julia Morgan
February 21, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Conservancy will celebrate the legacy of pioneering architect Julia Morgan next month at a structure she designed in the bayside city, Conservancy officials announced last week.

Talk About Santa Monica Government Communications Gets Heated
February 17, 2017 -- A back and forth between Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole and Councilmember Sue Himmelrich on the City’s communication policy reached such an intensity Tuesday night that Mayor Ted Winterer had to cut it off.

Santa Monica Council Moves Forward on Immigration, Religious Identity Ordinance
February 17, 2017 -- After hearing from numerous public speakers who said they lived in fear under the Donald Trump presidency, the Santa Monica City Council passed a measure calling for staff to draft an ordinance that would prohibit employers and landlords, among others, from collecting information on people’s immigration status, religion and sexual identity

Santa Monica Bus System Launches Major Route, Schedule Changes
February 17, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) will add service to six bus routes and improve schedules on seven others beginning Sunday, transit officials announced this week..

LETTERS: Bloom Wrong to Criticize UCLA Cartoon as Anti-Semitic
February 17, 2017 -- We must not conflate criticism of Israel or support for the right of Palestinian return with anti-Semitism.

City Council Votes for Santa Monica to Sever Ties with Wells Fargo
February 16, 2017 --The Santa Monica government’s financial relationship with Wells Fargo will soon come to an end following the City Council’s decision in the early hours of Wednesday morning to sever ties with the bank because it is one of 17 institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Santa Monica Council Supports Homeless Shelter for College Students
February 16, 2017 -- The Bruin Shelter at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church on Ocean Park Boulevard, which houses homeless students attending Santa Monica College and UCLA, received a financial boost from the City Council on Tuesday.

Philip Glass Opera Topic of Multi-media Presentation at Santa Monica Library
February 16, 2017 -- Composer Philp Glass' opera "Akhnaten," the topic of discussion at the Santa Monica Library Saturday, merges the ancient and ultra-modern.

Santa Monica Malibu Schools Discontinue 'Optional Group Activities' as Virus Lingers
February 15, 2017 -- Using "an abundance of caution," the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has discontinued "optional group activities" at all schools to help further reduce the spread of a gastrointestinal illness, possibly due to the norovirus, officials announced Tuesday.

Aviation Groups Challenge Santa Monica Airport Closure Deal
February 15, 2017 -- The recently approved deal between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the City of Santa Monica to close the local airport at the end of 2028 has many critics on both sides of the airport debate.

Santa Monica Assemblyman Condemns 'Anti-Semitic' UCLA Newspaper Cartoon
February 15, 2017 -- A cartoon published in UCLA’s student newspaper on Monday that many people said crossed the supposedly intended line of anti-Israel into anti-Semitism has been widely condemned, including by Santa Monica Assemblyman and former mayor Richard Bloom.

LETTERS: Rent Board Did Not Recommend Requiring Landlords to Install Submeters
February 15, 2017
-- Many buildings in Santa Monica lack the infrastructure for anything more than a master-metered water billing system, and I do not, nor did the Board, advocate for the overhaul of our water infrastructure throughout the city.

Santa Monica Hires 'Performance Officer,' Spending Critics Remain Skeptical
February 14, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica has created a new position of "chief performance officer" to analyze data that will help determine what is and is not working effectively, City officials announced last week, but critics are skeptical that municipal spending will be reined in.

Santa Monica Paves Way for Downtown Area Art Installations
February 14, 2017 -- Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and the new Colorado Esplanade near the Downtown light rail station should soon be enhanced with temporary public art installations.

'Faint Fuzzies' and Other Celestial Phenomena at Santa Monica College Planetarium Next Month
February 14, 2017 -- View the Apollo 11 moon landing site, glimpse comet-like "fuzzies" that don't move and learn about the science behind the equinoxes and solstices that have inspired religious festivals throughout the ages next month at the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium.

Santa Monica High School Student Dies of Unknown Illness Not Related to Recent Virus Outbreak
February 13, 2017 -- A Santa Monica High School student died Saturday of an unknown illness that is not thought to be related to the suspected Norovirus outbreak that forced the closure of a district middle school earlier this month.

Santa Monica Council to Consider Barring Requests for Religious Affiliation
February 13, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposal to draft an ordinance prohibiting employers and landlords from gathering information on the “religious affiliation” of various people connected to them.

Santa Monica Rent Board Commissioner Takes on ‘Ideologues’
February 13, 2017 -- During a Santa Monica Rent Control Board meeting on Thursday that Chair Steve Duron described as adversarial, landlords accused the board of making regulations for the sake of doing something and a commissioner responded that the accusers were threatening democracy.

Santa Monica Rent Board Recommends Landlords Install Water Meters for Each Unit
February 10, 2017 -- The City Council could soon consider a measure that would require Santa Monica landlords to assess tenants’ water bills based on actual monthly use.

Possible Norovirus Still Present in Santa Monica-Malibu Schools
February 10, 2017 -- John Adams Middle School was open again this week after being closed due to an illness outbreak that was possibly Norovirus, but the sickness was still floating around the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) as of Wednesday, according to officials.

Santa Monica College Kicks off Spring Global Connections Lecture Series
February 19, 2017 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) Global Connections Lectures series -- which explores the effects, benefits, and drawbacks of globalization -- offers three presentations this spring starting this month.

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Divesting from Wells Fargo Bank
February 9, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday will consider divesting all its funds from scandal-plagued Wells Fargo Bank because of its “business practices” as well as its role in financing the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

Santa Monica Hires New Library Director
February 9, 2017 -- After a half-year search, the City of Santa Monica has hired the librarian of Yolo County as its new library director, City officials confirmed this week.

Local Writers Featured at Santa Monica College This Month
February 9, 2017 -- Two Los Angeles area authors will read from their works this month as part of Santa Monica Colleges Spring Literary Series, college officials announced Wednesday.

City of Santa Monica Touts Accomplishments in 'Interactive' Annual Report
February 8, 2017 -- The City of Sana Monica posted its annual report for 2015-2016 on its website Tuesday, and it's not the trational text-driven document readers are used to.

'Plaza at Santa Monica' Project Scaled Back
February 8, 2017 -- The “Plaza at Santa Monica,” a major mixed-use project on City-owned land downtown that helped fuel a slow-growth ballot measure, is making the rounds in a new, scaled-down version.

Santa Monica College to Partner with UCLA in New STEM Program
October 9, 2017 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has been chosen to partner with UCLA in a pilot four-year program that prepares future teachers in math and science, college officials announced Tuesday.

Construction of Affordable Housing in Santa Monica Expected to Drop Again
February 7, 2017 -- The construction of new apartments in Santa Monica earmarked for lower-income earners is dropping again in 2017, a trend that could continue over the next few years, according a new City report.

Landlords to Appeal in Santa Monica Legal Fight Over Section 8 Vouchers
February 6, 2017 -- Landlords are vowing to appeal a court ruling last week that upheld a Santa Monica law banning income discrimination against the holders of Section 8 vouchers, the federal subsidies used to help low-income tenants find housing in privately owned apartment buildings.

Santa Monica College Celebrates Black History Month
February 7, 2017 -- The "N-word" will be put on trial during a series of events at Santa Monica College (SMC) commemorating Black History Month.

More Than $1.2 Million Spent to Defeat Santa Monica’s LUVE Measure
February 6, 2017 -- Measure LV, which would have required voter approval for most major developments and planning regulations, was soundly defeated, but the opponents’ victory had a large price tag, according to the semi-annual campaign finance disclosure statements filed with the City.

Davis Tops Santa Monica Council Campaign Spending
February 6, 2017 -- The 2016 edition of the Santa Monica City Council election campaign was the most uneventful in recent memory, so it was fitting that there was relatively a small amount of spending.

Foundation Raises More Than $160,000 to Meet Miramar Matching Grant
February 6, 2017 -- In a record-breaking response, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation raised $161,801 to meet a grant challenge from Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows/MSD Capital, Foundation officials announced Friday.

Federal Judge Approves Santa Monica Airport Closure Deal
February 3, 2017 -- The countdown to Santa Monica Airport’s (SMO) closure can officially begin after United States District Court Judge John F. Walter on Wednesday approved the agreement between the City and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to shut down the facility December 31, 2028.

Unidentified Virus Spreads Among Santa Monica Students, Forces School Closure
February 3, 2017 -- With 80 students and ten teachers at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) sick as of Thursday from what is believed to be the same illness, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) decided to cancel classes for Friday.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus Hires New Chief Operations Officer
February 3, 2017 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) has hired a Long Beach transit executive to serve as the agency's Chief Operations Officer, BBB officials announced Thursday.

Nearly 4,600 Addresses in Santa Monica At Risk in Quake
February 2, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica has released a new list of almost 4,600 addresses in some 2,4000 structures identified as at-risk in earthquakes. Note: A previous version of this article has been edited to clarify that there can be multiple addresses per structure.

JetSuiteX Cancels All Flights at Santa Monica Airport through February 24
February 2, 2017 -- JetSuiteX announced Wednesday it has canceled all flights from Monday, the day of its intended debut at Santa Monica Airport, through February 24. But the company said talks will continue with the City over its plan to operate there.

Unusual String Ensemble to Perform Bach and Rock in Santa Monica
February 2, 2017 -- One usually expects a string ensemble to play classical chamber music, but while The Hutchins Consort will tackle Bach, it also ventures far from tradition.

Santa Monica City to Maintain Cuts in Water Use Despite Recent Storms
February 1, 2017 -- Water-logged by recent storms but still not drought-free, the City of Santa Monica announced Tuesday it is maintaining the big cuts in water use, and fines, it imposed in 2015 as California entered its fourth year of drought.

Santa Monica Rent Increases Slow but Prices Still Among Highest in Metro L.A.
February 1, 2017 -- Rent hikes in Santa Monica are starting the new year with a minus sign, although the cost of living in an apartment is still the second highest in metropolitan Los Angeles, outdone only by Westwood, a new study released Tuesday found.

Santa Monica Agency Receives Grant from Alzheimer's Foundation
February 1, 2017 -- Santa Monica's WISE & Healthy Aging has received a $5,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to help fund the agency's on-site adult day care program, foundation officials said.

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