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The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- June 2019

Santa Monica Pier No Longer on "Dreaded" Beach Bummer List
June 27, 2019 -- For the first time in six years, the Santa Monica Pier managed to avoid Heal the Bay's "Beach Bummer" list of California's ten most polluted beaches. The Pier earned a C grade during both summer and winter dry weather, while nearly every other beach in the city earned an A.

Two Santa Monica College Films win Awards at Silicon Beach Festival

June 27, 2019 -- Two Santa Monica College (SMC) student films -- one shot in Sicily, the other in a California ghost town -- took home awards at the 4th Annual Silicon Beach Film Festival this month.

PAL Charity Golf Tournament Raises Record $135,000
June 27, 2019 -- More than 170 golfers raised a record of more than $135,000 to help support Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) programs, the organization announced Thursday.

Council Approves Nearly $713 Million Belt-Tightening Budget for Upcoming Fiscal Year
June 26, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved a $712.9 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year that marks a steep drop from previous annual budgets, as the City tightens its belt to tackle a looming pension debt.

Former Planning Commissioner Among Four Appointees to City's Most Powerful Board
June 26, 2019 -- Jim Ries -- considered a moderating force during the two terms he served on the Planning Commission -- will rejoin the board he left four years ago. Ries was among four applicants appointed to the powerful board by the City Council on Tuesday.

Police to Conduct Traffic Enforcement Operation Friday Downtown
June 26, 2019 -- With summer crowds flooding into Santa Monica, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and e-scooter riders are all jockeying for their share of Downtown streets. On Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., traffic officers will be on the lookout for behavior that puts "roadway users at risk" during a safety enforcement operation.

Santa Monica Council Accepts $400,000 in Grants for Samoshel Replacement Study
June 25, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday took initial steps to underwrite a $340,000 study on replacing Santa Monica's 25-year-old "temporary" homeless shelter by accepting two grants.

Three Different Views of the Moon at Santa Monica College Planetarium
June 25, 2019 -- Astronaut Neil Armstrong's "small step" and "giant leap" onto the lunar surface led to a moonwalk that has become one of the most viewed moving images in history. Next month, the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission that took him there.

Proposed Budget Revised to Reflect "Community Needs"
June 24, 2019 -- A new revised biennial budget will be presented for final approval to the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday that adds $1.2 million to the budget proposed earlier this month.

Top Santa Monica Activist May Leave City
June 24, 2019 -- The potential shuttering of another Santa Monica rent-controlled building could have an impact on the local political scene. Last week, former City Council candidate and political activist Armen Melkonians received notice that the building he lives in is being cleared.

Pilot Big Blue Bus Route Takes Passengers to Major Santa Monica Destinations This Summer
June 24, 2019 -- This summer, Big Blue Bus (BBB) passengers can ride between Santa Monica's top destinations using a new pilot route that launches July 1, transit officials announced Monday.

Council Poised to Pave Way for Beach Path Improvements North of the Pier
June 21, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to pave the way for $12.3 million worth of improvements to the three miles of beachfront paths north of the Santa Monica Pier.

Parking Rate Hikes to Kick in Next Month
June 21, 2019 -- (UPDATED) Parking rates in Santa Monica will increase for the second time in three years on July 1 for on-street metered parking, Main Street surface lots, the Pier deck and beach lots.

"Distressed" Arts Commission Learns Why Santa Monica Lost Its Iconic Mural
June 20, 2019 -- A "distressed" Arts Commission on Monday grilled the City's top cultural official on how Santa Monica could lose one of its most famous public artworks without the public knowing.

Grab a Book at Santa Monica Beach Starting This Month
June 20, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Public Library will once again give a twist to the term "beach reads" when it sets up Southern California's only pop-up beachside library next week.

Leave Fireworks to Trained Professionals, Santa Monica Fire Marshall Warns
June 20, 2019 -- Those who want to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks should wait until the extravaganza at Santa Monica College lights up the skies a week from Saturday, Fire Department officials said.

Hotel Workers Rally for Santa Monica Panic Button Ordinance
June 19, 2019 -- The local hotel workers union on Tuesday staged the first in a series of rallies leading up to the Santa Monica City Council's vote on a panic button ordinance this fall.

Santa Monica Ranked Among Nation's Top Beach Cities
June 19, 2019 -- Santa Monica ranked among the nation's top ten beach cities to live in, despite earning low marks for "affordability" and "safety," according to a study released by WalletHub Tuesday.

OPINION -- Santa Monica is #1!
June 19, 2019 -- When it comes to crime, homelessness, tax rates and the size of the City's payroll, Santa Monica tops the list among area cities, writes MIT Economics professor Jerry Hausman.

JAY WALKING -- Retired Santa Monica Cop Gathers 570 Miles of Experiences
June 18, 2019 -- Since he began walking from Santa Monica last month, former police Lt. Jay Trisler has slept behind small town gas stations, in the home of a stranger and in a hotel whose owner took him for a bum.

Two Stations Serving Expo Line to Santa Monica to Temporarily Close on Saturday
June 18, 2019 -- Fewer people will likely take a train to Santa Monica this summer after two stations in Downtown Los Angeles that serve the popular Expo Line close for two months on Saturday.

Dynamic Music Duo to Perform at Santa Monica Library
June 18, 2019 -- Who says libraries have to be quiet? Next month two of Los Angeles' top improvising musicians will make plenty of noise at the Santa Monica Public Library.

Dynamic Music Duo to Perform at Santa Monica Library
June 18, 2019 -- Who says libraries have to be quiet? Next month two of Los Angeles' top improvising musicians will make plenty of noise at the Santa Monica Public Library.

Living Near Legal "Pot Shops" Increases Use Among Youth, RAND Study Finds
June 17, 2019 -- As Santa Monica prepares to open its first two medical marijuana dispensaries, a study by RAND released Monday found that such facilities encourage use among young adults who live nearby.

Work Crews Prepare to Remove 50-Year-Old Santa Monica Mosaic
June 17, 2019 -- Work crews on Monday began preparing to dismantle a 50-year-old mosaic that for generations of Santa Monicans has captured the essence of their beach city. It will take between two and two and a half months to remove the mural, according to the firm in charge of the project.

Closing Buyback Center Will Hurt Local Consumers, Increase Litter, Watchdog Groups Warns
June 14, 2019 -- Friday's closing of the Santa Monica Community Recycling Center will reduce consumers' chances of getting their beverage container deposits back and increase litter on the city's streets and beaches, consumer advocates said this week.

Some 8,000 attend Commencement for SMC's Largest Graduating Class
June 14, 2019 -- An estimated 8,000 people packed the stands at Corsair field Tuesday evening to celebrate the largest graduating class in Santa Monica College's 90-year history.

Santa Monica at Center of Privacy Battle Over Shared Mobility User Data
June 13, 2019 -- Santa Monica is one of five California cities at the center of a growing debate over the privacy rights of e-scooter and e-bike users and a target of legislation that would prevent local governments from requiring operators of shared mobility devices to provide individual trip data.

Santa Monica College's Independence Day Celebration to Take Place This Month
June 13, 2019 -- It may not be July, but Santa Monica College (SMC) is ready to celebrate independence day this month with the city's only fireworks display Saturday June 29, College officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica City Attorney Elected to Head LA County Prosecutors Association
June 13, 2019 -- Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg last week was elected president of the Los Angeles County Prosecutors Association..

Council Approves $37 Million Contract to Pave Way for New City Yards
June 12, 2019 -- Moving quickly to lock in the price, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved a $37 million contract to lay the groundwork for a new City Yards.

SAMOSHEL to Get Major Makeover Before Permanent Replacement is Built
June 12, 2019 -- SAMOSHEL, the "temporary" tent-like homeless shelter that has stood near the end of the Santa Monica Freeway for 25 years, will get a major makeover before the City builds a permanent replacement.

"Pleasures Along the Beach" closeup

How Santa Monica Lost Its "Pleasures Along the Beach

Pride on the Promenade Festival Offers Rainbow of Events Saturday
June 12, 2019 -- Downtown Santa Monica will flash its rainbow colors Saturday when it hosts the first-ever Pride on the Promenade Festival on the popular strip. The outdoor festival takes place from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Santa Monica Airport Construction Project to Begin This Month
June 11, 2019 -- Starting this month, Santa Monica Airport will be closed intermittently as the City embarks on a $3.2 million project to convert both ends of the runway, which was shortened a year and a half ago. The project begins June 16 and ends September 6.

Santa Monica Recycling Center to Close 'Until Further Notice'
June 11, 2019 -- The recycling "Buyback Center" at the Santa Monica City Yards will shut down Saturday until further notice after the City Council rejected a proposal from its recycling contractor last month.

EXTRA -- Five Juveniles Admit to Vandalizing Santa Monica School
June 10, 2019 -- Five juveniles between the ages of 11 and 13 admitted to vandalizing sections of John Muir Elementary School after a video that captured their Saturday night rampage was posted online.

Santa Monica School Site Trashed in Vandalism Spree
June 9, 2019 -- A vandalism attack Saturday night trashed sections of the SMASH and Muir Elementary School site in Santa Monica as the academic year enters its final week, District officials said.

SPECIAL REPORT -- How Santa Monica Lost Its Iconic Half-Century Old Mosaic
June 7, 2019 -- Months before an agreement was reached to move the iconic mural "Pleasures Along the Beach" to a museum in Orange County, the City of Santa Monica decided not to accept the artwork, determining it would be too costly to install and maintain

Experimental Composer Elliott Sharp to Perform in Santa Monica
June 7, 2019 -- Experimental music legend Elliott Sharp will give a free performance and read from his new memoir "irRational Music" at the Santa Monica Public Library this month.

Santa Monica Transient Sentenced for String of Sexual Assaults
June 6, 2019 -- A local transient who sexually assaulted four women in 2016, two of them in Santa Monica, was sentenced Wednesday to 32 years to life in state prison. Pablo Carlos Pineda, 35, pleaded no contest to all counts on May 14.

Santa Monica College's Largest Class Ever to Graduate Tuesday
June 6, 2019 -- California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will address the largest graduating class in Santa Monica College history at the school's 89th commencement ceremony Tuesday.

Iconic Santa Monica Mural Finds New Home in Orange County
June 5, 2019 -- A mural that for generations of Santa Monicans captured the essence of their city's beach culture has found a new home more than 45 miles away in a museum in the City of Orange.

City Program Helps Santa Monica's Chronically Homeless But Faces "Key Challenge," RAND Study Finds
June 5, 2019 -- A City program that provides intensive services for those who have lived on Santa Monica's streets the longest placed most of them in housing and reduced spending on police services and emergency medical care, according a RAND study. However, all but one of the 26 clients continued to require intensive care.

EXTRA -- Voting Rights Attorneys Seek More Than $22 Million in Legal Costs
June 4, 2019 -- (UPDATED) Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a voting rights lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica are seeking $22.3 million in attorneys fees and expenses, according to documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday.

County, Los Angeles Homeless Rate Rises Faster Than in Santa Monica
June 4, 2019 -- Los Angeles County's homeless population grew at a faster rate than Santa Monica's, with LA's population rising by four times the beach city's rate.

City Council to Take Up Belt-Tightening Budget Wednesday
June 4 , 2019 -- Santa Monica City Hall is tightening its fiscal belt under a proposed biennial budget the City Council will consider Wednesday that slashes spending and begins paying down a rapidly growing pension debt.

Speculators Turning Small Santa Monica Rent Control Properties Into Single-Family Homes, Report Says
June 3, 2019 -- As Santa Monica real estate prices skyrocket, speculators are rushing to convert small rent control buildings into single family homes, according to a study released by the City last week.

OPINION -- Harvey Milk's Challenge to Renovate the Spirit of the City Still Resonates
June 3, 2019 -- Harvey Milk’s unique brand of empathetic politics is a shining example of putting people first and a legacy worthy of pride, writes City Manager Rick Cole.

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