Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- JuLY 2017

Santa Monica Car Show Highlights Evolving Lowrider Culture
July 31, 2017-- Encircled by glistening, lovingly restored cars from the WWII era and later years, young George Garcia basks in the 2nd Annual Westside Unity Car Show this sunny breezy Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica. Garcia is showing off his lowriding pride and joy -- a sleek and commanding Royal Blue 1970 Monte Carlo, polished to a fine glow, with boldly designed and shiny chrome wheels.

Santa Monica Ranked Among Top Cities for Online Art Buyers
July 31, 2017 -- While Santa Monica boasts a thriving gallery scene at Bergamot station, residents of the beach city also seem to be purchasing art online at a higher rate than their counterparts in other cities, according to Marketplace Artfinder.

Minimalist Artist, Medical Executive Remembered by Santa Monica Council
July 31, 2017 -- Albert Contreras achieved a following as a minimalist painter before he began driving garbage trucks for the City of Santa Monica in 1972. After retiring two decades later, he would resume where he had left off -- painting Xs every day in his Santa Monica studio.

Santa Monica to Launch Experiment in 'Last Resort' Subsidies for Elderly Poor Renters
July 28, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved a pilot project of “last resort” subsidies for an impoverished elderly population which, after decades living in rent-controlled apartments, can no longer make rent.

Lineup Announced for Santa Monica's 12th Annual Jazz on the Lawn Concert Series
July 28, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica's Cultural Affairs Division has announced the lineup for its 12th Annual Jazz on the Lawn summer concert series held every Sunday in August.

Acts from Down Under Take the Stage at Santa Monica Pier Concert
July 27, 2017 -- They don't hail from Miami and there's no horror in their act, but when Miami Horror takes the stage for Thursday night's Twilight Concert Series show at the Santa Monica Pier, plenty of feet should be moving to its disco throwback style.

Retail Vacancies on Santa Monica's Promenade Offer Opportunities, Downtown Officials Say
July 26, 2017 -- About a dozen stores on the Third Street Promenade are vacant or waiting for new tenants to open their doors, posing unique challenges -- and opportunities -- for the popular Santa Monica shopping strip, according to Downtown officials.

Santa Monica College Earns National Accreditation for Early Childhood Education Degree
July 28, 2017 -- Santa Monica College became the first community college in Southern California and only the second in the state to earn national accreditation for its Associate of Science degrees in Early Childhood Education, school officials announced this week.

Santa Monica Council Sets Highest Affordable Housing Requirement in State for Downtown
July 27, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday narrowly voted to require up to 30 percent of all new multi-family housing downtown be designated affordable, likely the highest threshold of its kind in California. The 4-3 vote came after developers warned they would be unable to shoulder the cost and renters lobbied for more housing for lower-income earners.

Santa Monica Landlords' Water Meter Suit Against Rent Board Moves Forward
July 27, 2017 -- A Santa Monica landlord group can move ahead with a lawsuit against the city's Rent Control Board (RCB) alleging property owners have the right to charge new tenants for water in buildings that have a master meter.

Replacing Office Water Coolers Poses Problem for City of Santa Monica
July 27, 2017 -- As befits a City as environmentally progressive as Santa Monica, bottle-less water coolers are leased for 44 City offices, providing workers with better filtration as well as sparing waste-making production of the old-fashioned lumbering plastic bottles, which eventually end up in landfills. Now, if only the City could find a provider which meets specifications.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus to Hold Hearing Next Week
July 26, 2017 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) will hold a public hearing Tuesday to present and discuss modifications to its fares and the methods used to pay them, transit officials announced.

Santa Monica Council Set to Hire Contractor to Help with Workers' Compensation Cases
July 25, 2017 -- With the City of Santa Monica's workers’ compensation costs growing at an accelerated pace, the City Council on Tuesday will consider hiring a third party to help manage the claims.

Pacific Park Wheel on Santa Monica Pier Lights Up for Energy Conservation July 25, 2017 -- On Wednesday, Pacific Park's iconic solar-powered Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier will host a special light program to raise awareness for energy conservation. The light display, which takes place every other Wednesday through September 20, is hosted by Conserve Energy SoCal.

Part I: Santa Monica Leaders Try Lives Without Own Wheels
July 24, 2017 -- Ensnared in relentlessly car-obsessed metro L.A., the City of Santa Monica is in route to a road not yet taken, at least with as much gusto, by any of its neighbors: A future with streets designed for people and mass transit, not vehicles. Top City officials explain how they work alternative transit into their lives.

Part II: Santa Monica Leaders Try Lives Without Own Wheels
July 25, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica has embarked on a series of bold initiatives to wean motorists from their cars. The Lookout asked City leaders to explain how they are integrating these new policies into their own lives. Today Council members Kevin McKeown, Pam O'Connor and Terry O'Day respond.

Linkin Park Fan Gathers more than 19,000 Signatures on Petition to Rename Santa Monica Park
July 24, 2017 -- By midnight Sunday, a Linkin Park fan had collected more than 19,000 online signatures on a petition to rename the Santa Monica park that inspired the rock band's name in the wake of frontman Chester Bennington's death last week.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Reviews Saturn Mission
July 24, 2017 -- By the time NASA’s Cassini mission disintegrates as it dives into the cloud tops of Saturn in September, it will have changed the way we view the universe.

Deceased Linkin Park Frontman's Band Had Strong Santa Monica Ties
July 20, 2017 -- Home was a somnolent suburb at the far edge of L.A. But it was an infamously troubled park in Santa Monica that formed the identity of successful rock/hip hop band “Linkin Park.”

Santa Monica Set to Add 29 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
July 21, 2017 -- Santa Monica is poised to add 29 electric vehicle charging stations across the city under a contract expected to be approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Conservancy's 'Shotgun House' Garners Another Award
July 21, 2017 -- A tiny "shotgun" house restored by the Santa Monica Conservancy continues to reap in some big awards, the latest coming from the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), which last month recognized the restored 400-square-foot wooden structure with one of two Preservation Awards.

Biking in Santa Monica Still Needs to be '50,000 Times Safer and Easier,' Commissioner Says
July 20, 2017 -- A safety “czar” to watch over them. Physical barriers for protection. More police enforcement. Those are just a few of the strategies the City of Santa Monica is embarking upon. But bicyclists received a warning just days ago on how far the city must still progress to make the streets safe for them.

Lowriders to Show Unity in Classic Car Event in Santa Monica
July 20, 2017 -- They glide, “low and slow,” inspiring fear or, depending on who’s sitting inside, awe from onlookers as they watch labors of love cruise by, like hydraulically hepped-up works of art on 1950s whitewall tires.

Santa Monica Public Library Invites Residents to Create 'Seed Bombs'
July 20, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Library next month will once again help support local honeybees by showing residents how to "seed bomb" their gardens.

Parking in Downtown Santa Monica Could Get Even Harder as City Leaves Cars in Rearview Mirror
July 19, 2017 -- As it ditches the car-centric ways of the past, the City of Santa Monica is also soon to bid farewell in its downtown to a prize cherished for decades by drivers everywhere: A parking spot of one’s own.

Santa Monica City Donates BBB Van to Charity for Paralyzed Youths
July 19, 2017 -- A charity group helping paralyzed young people with everything from getting to doctor appointments to once-in-a-lifetime destinations like a Yankees game is getting a lift from Santa Monica’s municipal bus system.

Eric Burdon Takes Stage at Santa Monica Pier Thursday
July 19, 2017 -- Eric Burdon and The Animals, a seminal band in the blues-tinged "British Invasion" that took America by storm in the early 1960s, will perform Thursday as part of the 33rd Annual Twilight Concert Series on the Santa Monica Pier.

Conservative Talk Show Host Slated to Conduct Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra
July 18, 2017 -- Conservative commentator Dennis Prager is slated to be a guest conductor at a gala fundraiser for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra next month, and several musicians are sitting out the charity concert to protest the popular radio host's political views.

Santa Monica 4th Worst City for First-Time Home Buyers, New Study Finds
July 18, 2017 -- Glittering waves and swaying palm trees aside, trying to buy a home in Santa Monica is no day at the beach for first-time buyers, a new study has found.

Downtown Santa Monica Square Transformed Into Art Destination July 18, 2017 -- A whimsical "teaser" popped up on a grassy triangle near the pier Monday to promote a new series of four temporary art works that will be rolled out in Downtown Santa Monica starting next month.

Santa Monica Files First Tenant Harasment Lawsuit Alleging Landlord Targeted Roommates
July 17, 2017 -- Tthe Santa Monica City Attorney's Office last week filed its first lawsuit claiming a landlord harassed tenants by forcing existing roommates who were not on the lease to vacate, officials said.

Santa Monica Water 'Neutrality' Law Begins with Trickle of Doubts
July 17, 2017 -- Can a city, especially one scarred by drought, embrace significant increases in population and new development without dipping deeper into a troubled water supply? The City of Santa Monica began testing that equation this month.

PAL Golf Tournament Nets More than $91,000 for Santa Monica Youth
July 17, 2017 -- Last month's 8th Annual PAL Charity Golf Classic raised $91,000 that will support youth programs offered by the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL), organization officials announced Friday.

State Officials Release Earthquake Fault Map for Santa Monica
July 14, 2017 -- For the first time, the California Geological Survey on Thursday released new draft maps that show the location of earthquake fault lines that run beneath the city of Santa Monica.

Affordable Housing Bill by Santa Monica Lawmaker Clears Hurdle
July 14, 2017 -- A bill authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) that would channel more money to local governments to finance construction of affordable housing cleared a hurdle Wednesday.

Rocket Scientist to Discuss Mars Mission at Santa Monica Library
July 14, 2017 -- Dr. Anita Sengupta, the aerospace engineer who designed the supersonic parachute system that allowed NASA's Curiosity Rover to safely land on Mars, will give a talk at the Santa Monica Library this month.

Plan for Santa Monica’s Downtown Receives Initial Nod from City Council
July 13, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday gave the initial nod to a plan to construct nearly 2,500 multi-family rental units downtown and potentially clear the way for a trio of mixed-use hotel projects as tall as 12 stories.

Santa Monica Bicyclists Could See New Protection from Cars
July 13, 2017 -- Beset by a rise in complaints about the dangers motor vehicles pose, bicyclists on Santa Monica streets could one day see more physical barriers, like posts, added to help protect bike lanes, a key City official said.

Two Bills Sponsored by Santa Monica Lawmaker Win Key Committee Approval
July 13, 2017 -- Bills sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom to preserve affordable housing and create a new decal program for zero emission vehicles were approved by a key committee this week.

'Santa Monica Lawmaker’s Bill for Official State Dinosaur Steps Closer to Final Approval
July 12, 2017 -- Proposed legislation by a Santa Monica lawmaker to designate a duck-billed dinosaur as the official California dinosaur moved a step closer to final approval Tuesday.

Santa Monica's Reed Park to Host String Theory Performance
July 12, 2017 -- A spiderweb of strings will resonate across Reed Park in Santa Monica on Saturday when String Theory strums ad plucks its custom harps hanging from giant Eucalyptus trees.

Expo Line to Santa Monica Hits Target Ridership 13 Years Ahead of Schedule
July 12, 2017 -- Thirteen months after opening, the Downtown L.A.-to-Santa Monica Expo line has hit a ridership target it was projected to reach in 13 years, also posting a 40 percent increase in passengers in June that left the rest of the Metro Rail system far behind, according to L.A. Metro.

Final Arguments Start in Bitter Battle Over Downtown Santa Monica's Future
July 11, 2017 -- Rivals in the long, bitter battle over downtown Santa Monica's future began final arguments Monday, split by a call for a central public park and recommendations for more hotels, businesses and, especially, more housing.

City of Santa Monica Proposes Drilling Exploratory Groundwater Wells
July 11, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica is proposing to drill three 600-foot deep wells to hunt for more groundwater as well as to plug and replace an under-performing well as it moves toward becoming completely independent of imported water by 2020.

Santa Monica Rep Kicks off Reading Series with Play About Gender Politics
July 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica Rep is bringing its popular play reading series back to The Edye on Sunday for a second season with "Rapture, Blister, Burn," a 2013 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that offers "an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th century feminist ideals."

Santa Monica Has Two Latino Council Members, City Officials Contend
July 10, 2017 -- Those who think Tony Vazquez is the only Latino ever to serve on the Santa Monica City Council are being asked to reconsider that commonly accepted notion. In a voting Rights lawsuit against the City, officials are arguing there have been two Latinos on the Council, and both are currently sitting on the dais.

Santa Monica Council Set to Pave Way for Airport Avenue Improvements
July 10, 2017 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve funding that paves the way for the transformation of the main road to Santa Monica Airport into a tree-lined corridor that encourages walking and bicycling.

Queen of Reggae' Featured at Santa Monica Pier Concert This Week
July 10, 2017 -- After Independence week off, the 33rd Annual Twilight Concert Series returns to the Santa Monica Pier Thursday with a performance by Marcia Griffiths, whose vocals provided the rich harmonies for Bob Marley’s classic recordings.

Architect of Design for a Less Congested but More Crowded Downtown Santa Monica Weighs In
July 7, 2017 -- It has been called everything from a bold model to disastrous. And no wonder. The City of Santa Monica’s Downtown Community Plan (DCP) banks on the ability of people to embrace lifestyles far less reliant on cars, and designs a future that accommodates some 3 million additional square feet of development and a much larger residential population -- all without worsening traffic.

Proposed Santa Monica Police Contract Includes 11 Percent Raises over Three Years
July 7, 2017 -- Santa Monica police officers receive an 11 percent pay increase over three years and see a hike in the amount they contribute towards their pensions under a proposed contract set to go to the City Council on Tuesday.

New Recreational Space Opens at Santa Monica Airport
July 7, 2017 -- It still looks more like a parking lot than a park, but the former lot used for aircraft tie-downs marks the latest concrete step in the transformation of Santa Monica Airport.

Santa Monica Chamber Opposes Proposal for Voter Approval of Large Developments Downtown
July 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s biggest business group says a plan guiding development downtown through 2030 fails to provide enough housing and is too harsh on a trio of big hotel-mixed use projects, including possible requirements for public approval.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus to Drop Fare Fares for TAP Card Users
July 6, 2017 -- In an effort to go cashless at its bus stops, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) system is dropping the cost of a regular one-way trip from $1.25 to $1.10 if the customer uses a Transit Access Pass (TAP) card instead of money.

Santa Monica Celebrates Park and Recreation Month July 6, 2017 -- Those who have wondered what it takes to play a ukulele, grow an organic plant or twirl a hula hoop can learn to do all of these when Santa Monica celebrates Park and Recreation Month in July. Those are among the activities featured during the City's How To Festival on July 22.

No Major Public Park in Final Draft of Downtown Santa Monica Plan
July 5, 2017 -- A proposal by slow-growth advocates for a major public park in the heart of downtown has been rejected by staff in the final draft of a City plan guiding the future development of Santa Monica's central business district.

Santa Monica Rents Continue to Rise, New Survey Finds
July 5, 2017 -- Santa Monica apartment rental rates -- already among Southern California's highest -- inched up 1.1 percent in June, marking the fifth consecutive month rents have increased, a new survey has found.

Samuel Beckett Returns to Santa Monica
July 5, 2017 -- Samuel Beckett's often despairing take on life may not seem a good fit for sunny, carefree Santa Monica, but the late Nobel-winning author seems to have gained a foothold in the beachside city. The odd-ball relationship continues Sunday with a string quartet setting of Beckett's 1965 prose piece "Imagination Dead Imagine."

Theft Top Reported Crime in Santa Monica During First Half of Year
July 3, 2017 -- As is the case in most years, various forms of theft accounted for the most reported type of crime in the first half of 2017, according to the Santa Monica Open Data Portal.

Santa Monica Hotel Workers Want to Know Who They Work For
July 3, 2017 -- At the request of unionized hotel workers, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously last week to instruct City staff to draw up legal language to make it a requirement that the “true owner” of a hotel be disclosed.

Santa Monica Library Heads Back to the Beach
July 3, 2017 -- For the third year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library is heading back to the beach this summer when it launches "SMPL at the Beach 2017" Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Annenberg Community Beach House

Crowd Size at Santa Monica Concert Smaller Than Reported, Pier Officials Say
June 30, 2017 -- A widely reported estimate of 60,000 people coming to last week's Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier has triggered lots of negative reaction among City officials. But Pier officials claim the crowd size was much smaller than reported, and they say they have the proof.

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