Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

Santa Monica City Council Considers Grass for Shortened Airport Runway
September 29, 2017 -- The pulverized concrete left over from shortening Santa Monica Airport’s runway might be returned to its earliest roots as grass.

Santa Monica's COAST Open Streets Festival to Take Place Sunday
September 29, 2017 -- Sunday's second annual COAST Festival is more than a chance to go carless on Santa Monica's often congested streets. It's also an opportunity to listen to an all-female Mariachi band, experience the building of a "Dream Tree" and go dancing in the streets.

Santa Monica City Officials Brace for a Future of Hi-Tech Change
September 28, 2017 -- Blessed by three decades of prosperity, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday asked for an assessment on surviving a hi-tech future likely to upend the popular beach city's economic success stories.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill to Allow Therapy Dogs in Court Signed into Law
September 28, 2017 -- A bill by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom to allow “therapy” dogs in court during witness testimony was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.

Santa Monica College Planetarium Offers Latest on Trek to Asteroid
September 28, 2017 -- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft won't reach the asteroid Bennu for another year, but the images of Earth it sent back this month are awe inspiring.

Santa Monica Action Plan Calls for 300 New or Upgraded Electric Car Chargers
September 27, 2017 -- With the use of all-electric vehicles zooming upwards, the City of Santa Monica is calling for the installation of 300 new or upgraded public chargers by 2022 to meet demand.

Santa Monica Awaiting 'Upfitting' to Equip Scores of Replacement Vehicles for Police
September 27, 2017 -- Still awaiting the “upfitting” of scores of replacement vehicles for Santa Monica police, the City Council on Tuesday added another two years to an existing contract to install the standard and special equipment.

Santa Monica College Students Stage Madcap Broadway Comedy
September 27, 2017 -- The Santa Monica College Theatre Arts Department will stage a production of the 1995 Broadway hit comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" with a premiere Friday. A preview is scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Santa Monica Slow-Growth Leader Vows Referendums on Major Downtown Projects
September 26, 2017 -- Two of the largest projects in Santa Monica’s development pipeline will face referendums to stop them if the City Council ultimately approves versions approximating the nearly 1 million total square feet being proposed, a leader from the slow-growth movement said Monday.

Old Papermate Factory in Santa Monica Pens New Life as Creative Office Space
September 26, 2017 -- Twelve years after closing, the long-vacant Papermate factory in Santa Monica’s Bergamot neighborhood is penning life anew as a slightly more than 200,000 square feet in modern creative office space.

Santa Monica Emeritus College Gallery to Display Works by Legendary Chinese-American Artist
September 26, 2017 -- Watercolors and other visual works by legendary animation artist Milton Quon, who recently celebrated his 104th birthday, will be on display at the Santa Monica College Emeritus Art Gallery starting this week.

Santa Monica Airport Runway Project Set to Begin
September 25, 2017 -- City officials announced Friday that construction to shorten the runway at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) will begin in two weeks, with aviation advocates saying they will carefully monitor the nearly three-month project.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Dinosaur Bill Signed into Law
September 25, 2017 -- After being extinct for some 66 million years, the dinosaur nicknamed "Auggie" joined the grizzly bear and quail among California's official state animals on Friday.

Santa Monica College Launches New Art Lecture Series
September 25, 2017 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will launch a new Art Lecture Series next week that offers "eye-opening and thought-provoking" discussions of everything from a portrait of 17th century Mexican mystic poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to creating animations for Disney's " Pocahontas."

City of Santa Monica Expected to Choose Union Bank After Severing Ties with Wells Fargo
September 22, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to switch its account to Union Bank after severing ties with Wells Fargo last year over its financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Launches Fundraising Drive for DACA Students
September 22, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is launching a drive to raise funds for DACA students who face a deadline next month to renew their status, District officials announced Friday.

Santa Monica College Presents Communication and Media Series
September 22, 2017 -- The early days of cable TV, the future of journalism and the gentrification of Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood are among the topics that will be discussed during Santa Monica College's (SMC) continuing Communication & Media Series, college officials announced this week.

Santa Monica Provides Lesson as Interest in Rent Control on the Rise
September 21, 2017 -- Almost 40 years after Santa Monica voters passed one of the nation’s most stringent rent control laws, the controversial legislative measure used to cap skyrocketing rents is piquing renewed interest across the state.

Santa Monica City Council Poised to Help DACA Fundraising
September 21, 2017 -- Concerned about the fate of hundreds of local college and public school students potentially impacted by the end of DACA, the City Council is poised to allocate up to $25,000 in matching funds to help the students remain protected from deportation.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday
September 21, 2017 -- Santa Monica police will conduct an operation Friday to screen for motorists driving under the influence or without a valid license, department officials said.

Santa Monica Arts Commission Looks to Middle Ground in Debate Over City Hall Mural
September 20, 2017 -- With an eye to compromise, the Santa Monica Arts Commission on Monday opened discussion on calls to remove a 1930s City Hall mural depicting Native Americans kneeling before Spanish Conquistadors and opened a debate on an accompanying mural.

Santa Monica Ranked 18th in Money Magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Live
September 20, 2017 -- An abundance of sunny days, views of the Pacific Ocean and a thriving economy helped Santa Monica climb to 18th place in Money Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 “Best Places to Live.”

LETTERS: Interpretation of 'History of Santa Monica Murals' is Subjective
September 20, 2017 -- The murals of Stanton Macdonald-Wright are art and, as with all art, beauty and its interpretation are in the eyes of the beholder.

Special Pollution Study Proposed for Santa Monica Airport
September 19, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Airport Commission is asking the City to approve a special study of how pollution levels change before, during and after SMO closes temporarily for work on significantly reducing the length, and impact on neighbors, of its sole runway.

Santa Monica’s 'Wellbeing Index' Reflects Growing Discontent in Pico Neighborhood, Hispanic Leader Says
September 19, 2017 -- Hispanic activist Maria Loya was far from surprised Monday as she considered the newly released summary of Santa Monica's “2017 Wellbeing Index.” The summary glowed with sunny attitudes and optimism from the populace overall -- until researchers drilled down to the Pico Neighborhood's zip code.

LETTERS: Murals with Racially Insensitive Message Have No Place in City Hall
September 19, 2017 -- Santa Monica City Hall belongs to the people of Santa Monica, and the anachronistic murals at its entrance do not reflect our values as a community.

Santa Monica Fire Department, UCLA Health Launch California's First Mobile Stroke Unit
September 19, 2017 -- California's first mobile stroke unit will be deployed in Santa Monica under a joint program between the City's Fire Department and UCLA Health, SMFD officials announced last week.

New Santa Monica 'Wellbeing Index' Shows Sunnier Attitudes with Some Clouds
September 18, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica’s second “Wellbeing Index” indicates the seaside enclave’s populace is happier than it was when first analyzed two years ago, but nonetheless feels stressed financially and disconnected to City Hall decision making.

Parks Bond Measure Co-Authored by Santa Monica Lawmaker Wins Senate Approval
September 18, 2017 -- A $4 billion water and parks bond co-authored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Bloom won Senate Approval last week and is headed for the Governor's signature.

OPINION -- A Colorful Piece of Santa Monica’s Cultural Life Could Be Lost
September 18, 2017 -- What is at stake in the debate over Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s mural depicting the history of Santa Monica is what is always at stake in a free society: the parameters of our freedoms.

Mural at Santa Monica City Hall Gets Airing as Petition for Its Removal Circulates
September 15, 2017 -- The battle over a mural's depiction of Native Americans in Santa Monica City Hall is escalating, with the controversy being aired at both the Landmarks and Arts commissions and likely headed to the City Council.

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Sets Record in Fundraising Drive
September 15, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) announced Thursday it raised a record $658,805 as part of a back-to-school pledge drive, with donors contributing nearly a quarter of the total on the last day.

State Senate Approves Santa Monica Lawmaker's Affordable Housing Bill
September 15, 2017 -- -- A bill authored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that would channel more money to local governments to finance construction of affordable housing was appproved by the State Senate this week.

Santa Monica City Council Approves New Post of Senior Advisor on Homelessness
September 13, 2017 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday approved the creation of a full-time senior advisor for homelessness, agreeing to allocate $320,159 over two years for the job.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's 'Clean Vehicle' Decal Bill Receives Senate Approval
September 14, 2017 -- (Updated) A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom to create a new decal program for "zero emission" vehicles is headed to the Governor for signature.

Santa Monica-Malibu School District Appoints New Assistant Superintendent
September 14, 2017 -- The School Board on Wednesday approved the appointment of a Santa Barbara educator to serve as assistant superintendent of educational services for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD).

New Questions Raised Over Proposed Santa Monica Civic Center Playing Field
September 13, 2017 -- Less than three months after declaring victory in a long fight with the City to turn the Santa Monica Civic Center parking lot into a playing field, parents said Tuesday they have learned the proposal could be endangered again -- this time by the state Coastal Commission.

Emergency Fundraising Drive Started for Santa Monica College DACA Students
September 13, 2017-- With hundreds of Santa Monica College DACA students at risk, the SMC Foundation Tuesday announced an emergency fundraising drive to help pay the $505 renewal fee per student due October 5 to remain protected from deportation.

PUBLIC NOTICE -- Due to the unprecedented multitude of activities on the westside competing for participants this weekend, the Santa Monica Kiwanis Club has decided to postpone its 8th Annual Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament scheduled for Saturday to a later date.

District Officials Warn of Santa Monica High School Fundraising Scam
September 13, 2017 -- Young people posing as Santa Monica High School students are engaging a door-to-door fundraising scam, according to School District officials.

City to Reveal If 'Wellbeing' of Santa Monica’s Populace Has Improved
September 12, 2017 -- Is Santa Monica a happier, or at least more contented, community than it was two years ago? The City is scheduled to address the issue tonight.

Bomb Scare Prompts Temporary Evacuation of Santa Monica Pier
September 11, 2017 – A bomb scare prompted an hours-long evacuation of the Santa Monica Pier Monday afternoon, with law enforcement urging the public to stay away from the famous tourist destination as the bomb squad conducted a search.

Santa Monica Review Celebrates New Issue with Multiple Events
September 12, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Review will celebrate the release of its fall issue with readings not only in the beach city but also in Venice, North Hollywood and San Francisco, Santa Monica College officials announced this week.

Protesters Renew Call for Removal of Santa Monica City Hall Mural
September 11, 2017 --A mural in Santa Monica’s City Hall depicting indigenous people kneeling before Spanish Conquistadors is back in the spotlight in the wake of President Trump's decision to end a federal program shielding young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Santa Monica Taps Police Department Veteran to Serve as Interim Chief
September 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica Police Capt. Kenneth Semko -- a 26-year veteran of the force -- will head the department while the City searches for a new chief, City Manager Rick Cole announced Friday.

Santa Monica Brings Back COAST Open Streets Event October 1
September 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica will once again provide a glimpse of what it could be like living on vibrant carless streets when it hosts its second annual COAST event next month.

Santa Monica Groups Launch Hurried Drive to Help Hurricane Victims
September 8, 2017 -- Santa Monica veterans and other local groups have launched a drive to rush essentials to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas -- and potentially in Florida -- establishing drop off spots for donations and offering to provide lifts to those who want to help with rebuilding.

Santa Monica College Foundation Names New Board Members, Awards Grants
September 8, 2017 -- A plastic surgeon, a Grammy winning producer and the founder of an on-line apartment rental service are among the new members of the Santa Monica College Foundation's (SMCF) board of directors, college officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica College Student Newspaper Named Finalist in Prestigious National Competition
September 8, 2017 -- Santa Monica College's student-run paper The Corsair is among 43 finalists for the Associated College Press's (ACP) annual national collegiate Pacemaker competition for print newspapers, college official announced this week.

Parents at Two Santa Monica-Malibu Schools Reported for Alleged Online Harassment of Disabled Students
September 7, 2017 -- Parents at two elementary schools were determined by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to be harassing disabled students during the 2016-2017 year, in one case creating an “inappropriate” website anonymously to harass one student, district records show.

Congressional Bid to Ground Pact Closing Santa Monica Airport by 2028 Thwarted
September 7, 2017 -- An attempt by a Louisiana congressman to de-fund enforcement of a controversial pact closing Santa Monica Airport by 2028 has been blocked, a top City official said Wednesday.

Underground Power Trio Brings Unique Electronic Soundscapes to Santa Monica
September 7, 2017 -- Tone Drift, a trio of some of LA's most sought-after underground musicians, will showcase their improvised electronic soundscapes at the Santa Monica Library next month.

More than 1,000 Santa Monica Students Could be Affected by Decision to End DACA
September 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica educators have begun trying to allay the fears of what are likely more than 1,000 local public school and college students facing the potential end of a federal program shielding young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Santa Monica’s Downtown Merchants to Meet with Police on Rising Homelessness Problem
September 6, 2017 -- Merchants in Santa Monica’s downtown will meet with police and others this month as the community tries to respond to the largest increase in homeless people in a decade, much of the population concentrated downtown and along the beach.

Santa Monica College Presents Two Award-Winning Writers This Month
September 6, 2017 -- A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who chronicled the legendary "Scopes Monkey Trial" and an award-winning Iranian-American poet will be featured during Santa Monica College's (SMC) Fall 2017 Literary Talks & Readings series.

City of Santa Monica Awards $20,000 Fellowships to Storytelling Artists
September 5, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica has awarded two performance artists who specialize in storytelling $20,000 fellowships that are "among the most robust, city-based individual artist support grants in the U.S.," cultural officials announced last week.

Santa Monica College Planetarium to Celebrate Cassini's 'Bittersweet End'
September 5, 2017 -- Hours after NASA’s Cassini mission makes its destructive dive into Saturn's crushing atmosphere on September 15, the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will "celebrate the bittersweet end of an epic voyage of exploration."

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Dinosaur Bill Heads to Governor for Signature
September 1, 2017 -- A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assembleymember Richard Bloom to designate the duck-billed Augustynolophus morissi as California’s official dinosaur is headed to the Governor for signature.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Launches Program to Help Prevent Collisions
September 1, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) has launched a pilot program to install and test a state-of-the-art system that helps prevent collisions by alerting drivers of potential hazards, agency officials announced last month.

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Gives School District Nearly $2.5 Million
September 1, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation has granted $2.48 million to the local School District to support a variety of programs during the 2017-2018 school year, Foundation officials announced Thursday.

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