Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

anta Monica to Intensify Face-to-Face “Engagement” of Largest Homeless Population in a Decade
November 30, 2017 -- Hit with a 26 percent increase in Santa Monica’s homeless population this year, the City unveiled a plan Tuesday to send up to a dozen new workers out to streets, encampments and cars to steer as many people living in them as possible into the region’s evolving system of help.

Strike Voted Called Off After Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica and Workers Union Announce Tentative Contract
November 30, 2017 -- A strike vote scheduled today was called off late Wednesday after the union for workers at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica and the hospital announced a tentative agreement for a new contract had been reached.

Early Morning Fire Displaces Santa Monica Family
November 30, 2017 -- A Santa Monica family of four was displaced after fire consumed their Ocean Park apartment early Wednesday morning, Fire Department officials said. There were no injuries.

Santa Monica Re-imagines Ultra-Popular “Twilight Concerts at the Pier”
November 29, 2017 -- Too popular for its own good, Santa Monica’s premier summer outdoor concert series, Twilight Concerts at the Pier, might be shifted to late summer or fall and be preceded with a festivity meant to attract a broader crowd.

Union Workers at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica to Vote on Possible Strike
November 29, 2017 -- From nursing assistants to respiratory therapists, hundreds of newly-unionized employees at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will vote starting Wednesday on whether to authorize a strike over complaints of under-staffing and related issues.

Jane Austen Gets a Makeover at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica
November 28, 2017 -- Jane Austen wrote only six books but two centuries later her popularity continues to fuel sequels that take off where the British novelist left off. They have taken the form of diaries penned by her characters and even a zombie retelling of her most famous novel, "Pride and Prejudice," that became a bestselling book and movie.

Marriott Hotel Gift Shop Owner Becomes First Convicted of Violating Santa Monica Higher Minimum Wage Law
November 28, 2017 -- The owner of a gift shop in the Marriott Hotel on Ocean Avenue has become the first employer convicted of violating Santa Monica’s “$15-by-2020” minimum wage law, the City Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

KCRW to Preview State-of-the-Art Center After 35 Years in a Santa Monica Basement
November 28, 2017 -- After 35 years underground, Santa Monica-based KCRW radio -- quirky, thought-provoking and quintessentially Southern California -- is leaving its cramped basement quarters at SMC’s Cayton Center on the main campus.

Santa Monice College Debate Team Keeps Bringing Home Awards
November 28, 2017 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) debate team furthered its winning streak at two tournaments in October and November, school officials announced this week.

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Probe of Possible Election-Law Violations
November 27, 2017 -- In the wake of an investigation that found Santa Monica's Huntley Hotel had violated state election laws, the City Council on Tuesday is expected to launch a general probe of possible violations of similar local laws.

Jet Traffic Carries Noise Violations at Santa Monica Airport to New Heights
November 27, 2017 -- The number of aircraft flying in and out of Santa Monica Airport is declining. And jet traffic -- the source of powerful neighborhood fury -- is down. But SMO will nonetheless finish the year with a record-breaking increase in noise violations by aircraft, nearly all of them charter jets.

The Moon, a Star and the Winter Solstice on view at the Santa Monica College Planetarium
November 27, 2017 -- The moon will be in full view and the Star of Bethlehem scientifically explained during shows at Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium this month. This Friday, a special observing event also provides an opportunity to view the Pleiades star cluster.

Eighth Pedestrian Killed This Year in Santa Monica
November 21, 2017 -- A pedestrian was killed crossing Pacific Coast Highway early Tuesday morning, marking the eighth pedestrian fatality this year in Santa Monica and the second this month.

Neighborhood Groups Question City Survey Seeking Online Community Opinions
Nov. 21, 2017 -- An online survey by the City of Santa Monica seeking community opinion about life, and City services, in the beach city is receiving some dissatisfied input.

Dedicated Bus Lane Opens on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica
November 21, 2017 -- Big Blue Bus passengers should see a swifter ride on a busy stretch of Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica after a dedicated bus lane opened during peak hours on Monday.

Chances to Volunteer Abound in Santa Monica During the Holiday Season
November 18, 2017 -- With the Holiday Season here, opportunities abound in Santa Monica to help the community’s needy with donations of food, clothing and Christmas presents for youngsters.

Santa Monica Supervisor Seeks Progress Report on Efforts to Stop Sexual Assault in County Jails and Detention Centers
November 20, 2017 -- Santa Monica's County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl co-authored a successfully adopted motion last Tuesday asking for a review to gauge whether a 2003 federal Act to stop sexual assault in county jails and detention centers is being followed.

Santa Monica Councilmember Contends He Is Not Required to File Public Income Statements
November 17, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Councilmember Tony Vazquez repeated his contention Thursday that he is not required to publically report the sources of his income, which has become the subject of an investigation by the LA County District Attorney.

SMMUSD Board Seeks 50-Year Financial Settlement as Condition of Malibu Separation
November 17, 2017 – With a reconciliation rejected by Malibu parents, leaders of the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system asked Thursday that a 50-year financial settlement be worked out before a potential divorce so both sides are fairly treated over the long term.

Artist Luchita Hurtado's Enchanted Works on Display in Santa Monica
November 17, 2017 -- After creating enchanted surrealistic works for 70 years, Santa Monica-based artist Luchita Hurtado is seeing a resurgence of interest in her art, which is currently on display at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.

City to Conduct Pollution Study at Santa Monica Airport
November 16, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica plans to conduct an air quality study that would begin before the airport is temporarily shut down for ten days next month to shorten the runway, City officials told the Lookout.

Santa Monica Police Receive Grant to Tackle Rising Traffic Accidents
November 16, 2017 -- Santa Monica police received a boost in their efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries in the form of a $300,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), police officials announced this week.

Santa Monica College Forum Focuses on 'The Woman Question'
November 16, 2017 -- The recent storm of controversy surrounding the sexual harassment of women in politics and entertainment is the focus of an ongoing forum at Santa Monica College (SMC).

Santa Monica Chamber Steps into Battle Over Mandatory Peace Agreements with Union
November 15, 2017 -- Taking aim at the elected leaders of Santa Monica, the local business sector is gathering signatures protesting mandatory “Labor Peace” agreements for restaurants on City property, including popular eateries like the airport’s Spitfire Grill.

City Prosecutors Conclude Excessive Force Case Against Santa Monica College Officer
November 15, 2017 -- A Santa Monica College Police Officer has been ordered to a year of probation, community service and other restrictions in a case alleging excessive force during the arrest of a homeless man on campus on January 18, City prosecutors announced Tuesday.

"Nutcracker" Ballet Among Performances this Month at Santa Monica College
November 14, 2017 -- Snow will fall and a Christmas tree will grow in Santa Monica once again during a performances of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” Ballet on Thanksgiving weekend.

SMMUSD Probes School Board Member Maria Leon-Vazquez Over Votes for Contractors Who Employed Husband
November 14, 2017 – The head of Santa Monica-Malibu public schools Monday said the district has begun a probe into a series of votes cast by Board Member Maria Leon-Vazquez for contractors who employed her husband, City Council Member Tony Vazquez.

Santa Monica Councilmember Vazquez Acknowledged Potential Conflict Existed
November 14, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Councilmember Tony Vazquez acknowledged a potential conflict existed if his wife, School Board member Maria Leon-Vazquez, voted on contracts involving the firm he worked for, according to a deposition given in a voting rights lawsuit against the City.

Radical Remake of Streetscape for Santa Monica’s Lincoln Boulevard Corridor Moves Forward
November 14, 2017 -- The radical transformation of Santa Monica’s commuter-jammed corridor on Lincoln Boulevard is likely to push forward another inch as the City Council votes tonight on a half-million dollar agreement to provide design/engineering services and help prepare construction contracts.

Divorce Talks Between Malibu and Santa Monica Public Schools Grow More Acrimonious
November 13, 2017 -- As divorces go, the split sought by the community of Malibu from the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system took its first serious steps almost two years ago with a certain amount of equanimity and even good will.

Santa Monica “Breeze” Poised to Become Part of Larger Integrated Bike Share System
November 13, 2017 -- When it started in 2015, the City of Santa Monica’s bike-share rental system, “Breeze,” was the first of its kind in a metro area trying to convince a car-addicted populace to instead pedal around town.

Santa Monica College's Emeritus Art Gallery Presents “The Ongoing Moment"
November 13 -- Santa Monica College's Emeritus Art Gallery will showcase written and painted works by the school's students during an exhibition that opens Thursday at the school's Downtown campus.

Uber Reportedly Planning “Skyport” Operations in Santa Monica for UberAir
November 9, 2017 -- Uber, the giant ride-hailing taxi service, is reportedly planning to fly a new breed of electric aircraft out of Santa Monica by 2020, company officials announced Wednesday.

Santa Monica’s “Step Up” Housing Project Seeks $15 Million in Bonds
November 9, 2017 – The first and oldest “Step Up on Second” supportive-housing project in Santa Monica is asking the City Council to approve the issuance of up to $15 million in revenue bonds for rehabilitation of the 36-unit rental downtown.

L.A. County Supervisors to Provide Permanent Staff and Funding to Address Domestic Violence
November 8, 2017 -- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved relocating its Domestic Violence Council to the Public Health Department, saying the scale of the problem -- which has generated 8,859 reports so far this year -- requires a home in an agency which can provide permanent staff and funding.

Unique Santa Monica Homeless Shelter for College Students to Re-Open
November 8, 2017 -- A shuttered homeless shelter in Santa Monica for college students -- which had been the only one of its kind in the nation -- is set to re-open soon with the help of three major players in the city’s development community.

LETTERS: Set Malibu Schools Free, Santa Monica Education Activist Says
November 8, 2017 -- I write asking you to unequivocally support Malibu unification at the November 16, 2017 school board meeting. It is time to let this butterfly go free. Why would you want to continue a now-forced "marriage" when one partner so clearly is no longer committed?

Several Accidents Preceded First Fatality on Expo Train Tracks in Santa Monica
November 7, 2017 -- Several accidents, both before and after the Expo Light Rail line debuted in Santa Monica, preceded the collision that left a pedestrian dead Sunday night but they resulted in only minor injuries.

Santa Monica State Senator and Labor Lawyer with ties to Locally Active Union Marry
November 7, 2017 -- State Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and a labor lawyer with ties to the city’s most politically active union quietly tied the knot last month in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, her home state.

OPINION: Remaining Santa Monica School District Will Suffer in a Malibu Separation, Superintendent Says
November 7, 2017 -- If SMMUSD were to split into two districts, there would be a negative fiscal impact on the remaining Santa Monica portion of the district. I must balance that with the interests of Malibu to separate.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Hires Financial Officer
November 7, 2017 -- The chief business officer in the Pajaro Unified School District in Watsonville has been hired as the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District's new assistant superintendent of business and fiscal services.

EXTRA Pedestrian Killed by Expo Train in Santa Monica
November 6, 2017 -- A man was fatally struck by a Metro Expo Line train in Santa
Monica late Sunday night, marking the seventh pedestrian killed in the beach city this year.

Stabbing, Shooting Incidents in Santa Monica Heighten Concern Over Crime
November 6, 2017 -- A stabbing downtown on Friday and gunfire between two party buses near the Pier 23 hours later that left a young mother dead are stoking fear about rising crime in Santa Monica, and increasing calls for significant action to stop more violence from occurring.

Santa Monica Police Seek Suspect in Stabbing Downtown
November 3, 2017 -- A suspect described as tall, thin ponytailed white male is being sought by Santa Monica police in connection with a stabbing Friday in the vicinity of Fourth Street and Santa Monica Boulevard.

EXCLUSIVE Santa Monica Councilmember Tony Vazquez Has Reported Earning No Income Since His 2012 Election
November 3, 2017 -- Since rejoining the Santa Monica City Council in 2012, Tony Vazquez has reported no earnings on his yearly Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) despite giving sworn testimony that he has been working as a paid consultant for the past decade.

Santa Monica Council Members List Varied Sources of Income
November 3, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Council members eared income from a variety of sources in 2016 -- from running their own consulting firms and working for Fortune 500 companies to owning stocks.

Santa Monica College Emeritus Band Set to Rock Out Sunday
November 3, 2017 -- Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band will rock out to the power-chord-driven tunes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and other classic rock acts at a free concert Sunday.

Malibu Split from Santa Monica Schools in Jeopardy
November 2, 2017 -- Tempers were tested, one member started to storm out and a large part of the audience left furious Monday in a special School Board meeting on whether to go forward with Malibu's split from the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system.

Calls for Air Quality Study Gets Boost from L.A. Council Member
November 2, 2017 -- Calls from the Santa Monica Airport Commission and others for an air quality study of SMO as its runway is shortened have gotten a boost from L.A. Council Member Mike Bonin, whose 11th district includes nearby neighbors worried about the health impact of airport pollution.

Santa Monica to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos Saturday
November 2, 2017 -- On Saturday afternoon, Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery will be filled with music and dancers, altars and food as the beach city celebrates the sixth annual El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The event takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on the roads and grassy areas of the cemetery.

City Program Offering Subsidies for Elderly Poor Renters in Santa Monica to Survey 'Wellbeing'
November 1, 2017 -- A delayed pilot project that provides “last resort” City subsidies to help elderly Santa Monica seniors pay their rent is querying the applicants about their “wellbeing.”

Santa Monica Mayor Advises 'Situational Awareness' After NYC Bike Path Attack
November 1, 2017 -- Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer on Tuesday advised cyclists and the city’s general public to use "situational awareness” in the wake of a terrorist attack that left eight people dead and 11 more injured on a popular Manhattan bike and pedestrian path.

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