Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- NOVEMBER 2020

Quarter of Santa Monica COVID Cases Took Place Over Past Three Weeks
November 30, 2020 -- One quarter of the 1,497 coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica since March 16 have taken place over the past three weeks, according to an analysis of Los Angeles County data.

New Lockdown Goes Into Effect
November 30, 2020 -- Los Angeles County went into lockdown Monday after health officials reported coronavirus cases remained at "alarming levels" despite some of the strictest health mandates in the nation.

Santa Monica's Needy Receive More Than 1,400 Free Thanksgiving Meals
November 24, 2020 -- A group of local institutions and community organizations distributed 1,455 free Thanksgiving meals to needy students and local residents at Santa Monica College (SMC) on Tuesday.

OPINION -- Police Must Take Part in Any Meaningful Reform
November 24, 2020 -- The members of the Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) know that now is the time to reimagine our ideas about Public Safety. We don’t just want to meet this moment, we want to lead it.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- A Perfect Storm Swept Incumbents Out of Office
November 23, 2020 -- There were warning signs long before the November 3 Council elections that voters were ready for a change. But it took a perfect storm of events to upend the status quo that had held a grip on local politics for nearly three decades.

No Significant Spike in Deaths, Serious Illness as Crackdown Looms
November 23, 2020 -- As Santa Monica and LA County prepare another crackdown to curb "alarming levels" of coronavirus cases, the number of deaths and seriously ill patients remains below previous spikes, according to an analysis of data by The Lookout.

Fee to Build Affordable Units Off-Site Remains Stable
November 20, 2020 -- For the first time in a decade, developers who build off-site affordable housing in Santa Monica won't see their fees increase, according to a report issued by the City Thursday.

Santa Monica Sees Drop in Coronavirus Cases As New Crackdown Takes Effect
November 20, 2020 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica have dropped so far this week and the number of virus-related deaths has remained steady, as stiffer restrictions imposed by the County and State are set to go into effect tonight.

SMPD Vet Retires, Leaving Trail of Accomplishments
November 19, 2020 -- A member of the Santa Monica Police Department involved in "numerous" felony arrests and "significant seizures" of narcotics has retired from the force without costing the City a dime in pension.

Latest Space Flight Developments and the Winter Solstice at SMC Planetarium
November 19, 2000 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium will focus on the Winter Solstice and the latest developments in space flight during its December shows.

Santa Monica Collected $4.3 Million in Development Mitigation Fees Last Year
November 18, 2020 -- Santa Monica collected some $4.3 million in fees in the past fiscal year to lessen the impact of new residential and commercial development, City officials reported this week.

SMC Leads in Transfers for 30th Straight Year
November 18, 2020 -- For the 30th straight year, Santa Monica College (SMC) was the number one transfer college to the University of California (UC) system, school officials announced this week.

Magazine Probe Finds Police Botched Response to Santa Monica Riots
November 17, 2020 -- The main findings of a Lookout probe into the Police Department's failure to contain the violence and looting in Santa Monica on May 31 were confirmed by an investigation published Tuesday by Los Angeles Magazine.

Council Incumbents Concede, List Accomplishments
November 13, 2020 -- With few ballots left to count and facing an insurmountable lead, three City Council incumbents have officially conceded in the race for four full-term seats.

COVID-19 Cases Surge in Santa Monica, Deaths Remain Steady
November 16, 2020 -- The number of weekly coronaviris cases nearly doubled in Santa Monica last week -- hitting a record 131 new cases -- but the number of deaths has remained steady.

De la Torre Pushes for "Change" Candidate to Fill His Vacant Seat
November 16, 2020 -- Councilmember elect Oscar de la Torre is lobbying to fill his vacant School Board seat with a candidate he hopes will champion an activist agenda.

LETTERS -- Time for Council to Favor District Elections
November 16, 2020 -- Incumbents fought district elections principally because they believed the current system increases their chances for reelection. The victory of three slate members puts their theory to rest.

Santa Monica Recognized for Use of Digital Technology
November 13, 2020 -- The City of Santa Monica has been recognized for its use of digital technology to transform the permitting process and provide homeless services during the coronavirus emergency.

OPINION -- Changing Election Trends
November 13, 2020 -- PAC money spent on City Council elections in Santa Monica is starting to show a new trend -- downward. Only time will tell if this election is a money and endorsement game changer or a pandemic year anomaly.

New Council Could Have Votes to End Voting Rights Lawsuit
November 12, 2020 -- (UPDATED) A voting rights lawsuit that has wound its way up the court system for four and a half years could swiftly come to an end after three incumbents were ousted by Santa Monica voters this month.

City Council Jumps into Fray Over Malibu Split
November 12, 2020 -- The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to jump into the battle over Malibu's efforts to split from the School District, citing concerns over the loss of both funding and student diversity.

OPINION -- The Poll That Actually Got It Right
November 12, 2020 -- Residents cast their ballots for candidates who focused on the mounting issues of crime and homelessness in the city.

Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Hit Weekly High
November 10, 2020 -- A record 70 new coronavirus cases were reported in Santa Monica last week, as daily cases across Los Angeles County surpassed 2,000 for the first time in three months, according to Health Department data.

Council Candidates Hold Positions
November 10, 2020 -- With little more than 1,000 ballots left to count, three challengers and one incumbent have sealed their wins in the race for four City Council seats.

LETTERS -- They Broke the Santa Monica Machine
November 10, 2020 -- Residents said "enough" and voted to give challengers a chance to right the city. Now the real work of the "change" slate begins -- cleaning up the lame ducks' mess.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Santa Monica Voters Oppose Law Enforcement Measure, Help Oust Prosecutor
November 9, 2020 -- While fighting crime became a cornerstone of the November 3 City Council election, Santa Monica voters continued to tie the hands of law enforcement at the polls.

Three Council Challengers, One Incumbent Cement Wins
November 9, 2020 -- The front runners in the race for four City Council seats cemented their leads after 4,389 more ballots were counted Monday.

OPINION -- The Year Election Money Didn’t Win
November 9, 2020 -- The City Council incumbents ran their usual campaigns dependent on high profile endorsements and money from the usual special interest groups. That didn't work in 2020.

November 6, 2020 -- Santa Monica voters mounted a revolt at the polls in the November 3 election, ousting three City Council incumbents -- as many in one race as have been defeated in the past 26 years.

Police Remain Out In Force This Weekend
November 6, 200 -- Santa Monica police will remain on "maximum deployment" over the weekend as the ballot count for the presidential race dragged into its third day Friday.

Challengers Poised to Upend Political Establishment
November 5, 2020 -- A slate of City Council challengers is poised for a historic victory that would shift the balance of power in Santa Monica overnight.

School Board Member's Accusations 'Inflammatory and Unfair'
November 5, 2020 -- Dr. Ben Drati is the Superintendent of students in both Santa Monica AND Malibu. To attack him as being biased is false and unacceptable.

Incumbents Sweep Board Races
November 4, 2020 -- Incumbents easily won re-election to the School, College and Rent Control boards Tuesday, and one first-time candidate will join their ranks after making a strong showing.

Council Field Holds Steady
November 4, 2020 -- The three front runners in the race for four City Council seats padded their leads Wednesday afternoon, as LA County voting officials released a batch of nearly 2,400 new votes.

Tight Council Race Too Early to Call
November 4, 2020 -- Three challengers and an incumbent are leading in a hotly contested race for four City Council seats that is still too early to call.

Santa Monica Hunkers Down
November 3, 2020 -- Santa Monica businesses are hunkering down, with a third of the shops Downtown boarded before nightfall Monday, in anticipation of possible election-related violence.

OPINION -- School Superintendent's Letter 'Wildly Hypocritical'
November 3, 2020 -- Santa Monica has grievously harmed our public schools and continues to do so as it acts in the interests and at the direction of the 85% of district voters that live in Santa Monica.

Coronavirus Cases Rise as Hospitalizations, Deaths Remain Down
November 2, 2020 -- There were 43 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Santa Monica last week, reflecting a rising number of cases across Los Angeles County, although hospitalizations and deaths are down.

Suspect in Police Car Fire Pleads Not Guilty
November 2, 2020 -- (UPDATE) An Orange County man charged with setting an unmarked police car on fire during the May 31 riots in Santa Monica pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday.
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