Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- August 2021

Santa Monica Rents Continue Rising, Report Finds
August 31, 2021 -- Santa Monica rents rose for the fifth month in a row, nearly doubling the rent increase posted for July, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday.

Homeless Man Charged with Burglarizing Trendy Promenade Cafe
August 31, 2021 -- County prosecutors filed burglary charges against a homeless man who allegedly broke into a trendy Promenade cafe three times in the course of one week.

Santa Monica Covid Cases Hit Seven-Week Low
August 30, 2021 -- Santa Monica last week registered the lowest number of Covid cases in nearly two months and saw its first virus-related death in four months, according to data from Los Angeles County Health.

Burglary Suspect Arrested at North of Montana Home
August 30, 2021 -- A Santa Monica man suspected of at least two burglaries in the city this month was arrested early Sunday morning.

LETTERS -- 'Bogus' Poll Should Not Be Published
August 30, 2021 -- Any results from a survey of self-selected individuals are invalid by definition and should never be published.

EXTRA -- Interim City Attorney Cardona Hired by California Bar
August 27, 2021 -- Interim Santa Monica City Attorney George Cardona has been named chief trial counsel by the California Bar Association, City officials confimed Friday.

Police to Boost Presence for Protests Sunday
August 27, 2021 -- Santa Monica police will be out in force Sunday as demonstrators who oppose vaccination mandates and counter protesters are expected to descend on the city.

Slim Majority of Santa Monica Residents Oppose Vaccine Mandates, According to Monthly Poll
August 27, 2021 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found that a slim majority opposes vaccine mandates for City employees and for indoor public spaces.

Santa Monica Mandates Vaccinations for City Employees
August 26, 2021 -- The City of Santa Monica on Tuesday issued a policy requiring all City employees, contractors and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by October 29.

Santa Monica Spa Owner Gets Probation for Price Gouging Mask Scheme
August 26, 2021 -- A Santa Monica spa owner charged with hoarding nearly 20,000 N95 masks during the initial months of the Covid pandemic was sentenced to three years probation Thursday.

EXTRA -- Council Votes to Pay Alleged Child Molestation Victims Another $54.9 Million
August 25, 2021 -- In what amounts to one the nation's largest sex abuse settlements by a city, Santa Monica will pay a total of $97.5 million to alleged victims who participated in a City-run youth program more than two decades ago.

Santa Monica Spa Owner Gets Probation for Price Gouging Mask Scheme
August 26, 2021 -- A Santa Monica spa owner charged with hoarding nearly 20,000 N95 masks during the initial months of the Covid pandemic was sentenced to three years probation Thursday.

Santa Monica Surpasses 6,000 COVID Cases
August 24, 2021 -- There were 192 confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica last week, pushing the total number of cases above 6,000, while no new virus-related deaths were reported.

City Website Helps Job Seekers Find Work
August 24, 2021 -- There are plenty of job openings in Santa Monica -- from ice cream scooper and tour guide to lifeguard and lawyer -- and the City is helping residents apply.

Lawyers Guild Accuses City of Discriminating Against Street Vendors
August 23, 2021 -- The National Lawyers Guild is asking Santa Monica to ease enforcement and restrictions the group says discriminate against low-income street vendors.

Emeritus Art Exhibit Features 'Representational Imagery'
August 23, 2021 -- The works of three painters who share an interest in realistic rendering will be showcased in an online exhibition at the Santa Monica College (SMC) Emeritus Art Gallery next month.

District Lays Out Covid Testing Plan for Students
August 20, 2021 -- Mandatory COVID-19 testing will begin for Santa Monica and Malibu public school students next week, District officials announced Friday.

Council to Weigh in as City, Unions Negotiate Vaccination Mandate
August 20, 2021 -- City officials on Tuesday will continue negotiations with employee unions over mandated vaccinations while the Council weighs in.

Ed Foundation Launches Back-to-School Match
August 19, 2021 -- With local school campuses filling up after a year of virtual classes, the Santa Monica Education Foundation is launching a back-to-school match starting Thursday.

Council Expected to Fund New Black Non-Profit, Approve Free Bus Fares for Students
August 19, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to fund a new non-profit that helps Black Santa Monica residents and to join a County program that will provide free transit fares for students.

Council to Consider Banning Risky Vendor Activities
August 18, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider cracking down on illegal vendors on the Pier who are lighting cooking fires, spilling grease into storm drains and overflowing trash bins with waste.

Health Officials Reinstate Advisory for Pier Area
August 18, 2021 -- Five days after LA County officials lifted a health advisory, bacteria levels in the water around the Santa Monica Pier are once again exceeding state standards.

Health Officials Lift Advisory for Water Around Pier
August 17, 2021 -- County officials removed a health advisory for the area around the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, as polluted wastewater discharged from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant fell to a two-week low.

SMC Planetarium Explains Equinoxes and Solstices
August 17, 2021 -- For city dwellers confused between equinoxes and solstices, Santa Monica College's John Dresher Planetarium will help sort the differences out.

OPINION -- City Hall Murals Are Not Who We Aspire To Be
August 17, 2021 -- The City Hall murals do not tell the story of Santa Monica as it should be told or represent who we really are, our purported values or the serious challenges we still face.

COVID Cases Level Off in Santa Monica, No New Deaths
August 16, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped to 143 last week after hitting a near record high of 343 weekly cases at the end of July. No virus-related deaths have been reported in nearly four months.

Police Arrest Two Suspects in Liquor Store Shooting
August 16, 2021 -- A felon from El Monte and his suspected accomplice were arrested in a shooting that took place Friday night at a Santa Monica liquor store in the Pico Neighborhood.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Among County's Fastest Growing Cities, Census Data Shows
August 13, 2021 -- Santa Monica added more than 3,300 residents over the past decade, making it one of the fastest growing large cities in Los Angeles County, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.

Big Blue Bus Launches New Express Service
August 13, 2021 -- Starting Monday, Big Blue Bus riders can grab a bus in Downtown Santa Monica and connect to the Metro D and E lines with only a handful of stops.

School Board Mandates Face Masks, Testing for Students and Staff
August 12, 2021 -- The School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to mandate students to wear face masks in-doors and out and to be tested weekly for the coronavirus.

Felon Arrested for Attempting to Steal Catalytic Converter
August 12, 2021 -- A Los Angeles felon on probation was arrested by Santa Monica police early Thursday morning after he was caught attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a truck parked in a secured lot.

LETTERS -- Opposition Builds to Housing Bills SB9 and 10
August 12, 2021 -- If SB9 and 10 become the law across California, single-family zoning will end almost everywhere and our neighborhoods will never be the same.

School Board Recall Campaign Kicks Off
August 11, 2021 -- The campaign to recall three Santa Monica-Malibu School Board members has begun circulating petitions after they were qualified by the Los Angeles County Registrar last Tuesday.

City Awards Fellowships to Five Santa Monica Artists
August 11, 2021 -- A renown choreographer praised for blending genres and mediums and a folksinger and visual artist known for her "butch lesbian aesthetic" are the latest recipients of $16,000 fellowships from the City.

Santa Monica Pier Only Beach Area Left Under County Advisory
August 10, 2021 -- The area around the Santa Monica pier remained the last beach under a health advisory for high levels of bacteria updated by Los Angeles County Health officials on Tuesday.

Santa Monica College to Hold Open Houses for Dance, Theatre Departments
August 10, 2021 -- The public will get a behind-the-scenes look at Santa Monica College's (SMC) performing arts programs when its Dance and Theatre Arts departments hold virtual open houses next week.

Schools Superintendent Recommends Mandatory Staff Vaccinations, Outdoor Masking
August 9, 2021 -- District Superintendent Ben Drati said Monday that he is recommending the School Board approve mandatory staff vaccinations and universal masking on all campuses at a special meeting Tuesday.

Main Street Collision Marks Third Pedestrian Death This Year
August 9, 2021 -- A woman was struck and killed by a vehicle on Main Street early Saturday morning, marking the third pedestrian fatality in Santa Monica this year.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Discarded Face Masks Flooding Oceans, Reports Find
Masks on the beach August 6, 2021 -- More masks and gloves have been removed from Santa Monica Bay beaches over the past year than common items such as glass bottles, according to data from Heal The Bay's Coastal Cleanups. The impact of the COVID-19 emergency and widespread mandates requiring the use of face masks is being chronicled in oceans across the globe.

Tourism Agency Announces Leadership Changes
August 6, 2021 -- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) recently promoted three members of its Executive Leadership Team and saw several shifts made within its Board, agency officials announced.

Downtown Officials Unveil Plan to Revitalize The Promenade
August 5, 2021 -- Imagine visiting the Promenade and enjoying a concert at a cultural venue, browsing a makers market at a new Town Square, then topping off the night at a rooftop bar or underground hideaway.

Health Advisory Issued for Water Near Pier
August 5, 2021 -- Swimmers and surfers should stay out of the water near the Santa Monica Pier after Los Angeles County Health officials detected high levels of bacteria from the massive Hyperion sewage spill.

City Launches Effort to Ensure Needy Households Apply for Relief
August 4, 2021 -- Santa Monica on Wednesday launched an outreach program to ensure residential tenants and landlords who have fallen behind on rent or utility payments have a chance to apply for financial relief from the State.

Nicolas Ralph Sloan Hit-and-Run Driver Charged with Murder Outside Santa Monica Bar
August 4, 2021 -- A man suspected of a fatal hit-and-run while driving drunk outside a Santa Monica bar early Monday has been charged with murder.

Special Interests Help Bloom Amass Large Warchest in Supervisor Race
August 3, 2021 – Assemblymember Richard Bloom raised more than $500,000 in six months in the race for County Supervisor thanks in large part to maximum donations from dozens of unions and special interest groups.

Santa Monica Senior Building Accepting Applications
August 3, 2021 -- The City of Santa Monica is taking applications for 39 one-bedroom units with private balconies in a senior building that will soon complete construction near Downtown.

Santa Monica Vaccination Rate Tops 80 Percent
August 2, 2021 -- There were 181 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Monica last week -- the second-highest weekly tally since January -- as the city's vaccination rate topped 80 percent.

City Turns Page in Library Leadership
August 2, 2021 -- Erica Cuyugan -- who manages system-wide library operations -- will replace City Librarian Patty Wong when she leaves her post September 5, City officials announced Monday.

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