Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Shatters Weekly COVID Case Record
December 27, 2021 -- There were 1,085 coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica last week -- triple the previous high recorded nearly one year ago -- and one new virus-related death, according to Los Angeles County Public Health data.

Two Juvenile Suspects Arrested After Vandalizing School
December 27, 2021 -- Two juvenile suspects were arrested for burglary Sunday night after breaking into John Muir Elementary School and vandalizing parts of the campus.

Judge Temporarily Halts Parking Structure Demolition
December 22, 2021 -- A Superior Court judge last week granted a group of Downtown property owners a temporary restraining order that stops the city from beginning to demolish Parking Structure 3.

Santa Monica Announces New Resident Artists
December 22, 2021 -- Childhood nostalgia, fake ghosts and the stories behind everyday objects are among the subjects explored by Camera Obscura Art Lab's (COAL) new resident artists.

After 25 Years, Rawson Steps Down as Downtown Head
December 21, 2021 -- Kathleen Rawson -- who for a quarter century oversaw Santa Monica's wildly successful Promenade and central business district -- will step down as head of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., the agency announced Tuesday.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica COVID Cases Spike to One-Year High as Omicron Spreads
December 20, 2021 -- Weekly coronavirus cases tripled in Santa Monica last week as the Omicron variant spreads, jumping from 119 to 363 confirmed cases, the highest tally in a year, according to County Health data.

Interim Officials Assume Posts on Permanent Basis
December 20, 2021 -- Susan Cline, the former City Works director who has been serving as interim assistant city manager will assume the post on a permanent basis, City officials announced Monday.

OPINION -- SMMUSD Board Masks Brown Act Violations
December 20, 2021 -- What were School Board members saying to each other last night -- lips hidden behind masks, off mic and seated within the insular walls of the District Board room?

City Embarks on $1 Million in Safety and Maintenance Projects
December 17, 2021 -- Over the next several months, the City will boost maintenance in the Downtown parking structures, add private security at the Pier and hire a clinician to help reach mentally ill homeless individuals.

Five Men Arrested for Vandalizing Promenade
December 17, 2021 -- Five men in their early twenties were arrested early Wednesday after going on a midnight vandalism spree along the Promenade, police said.

EXTRA -- New Map Turns Supervisor District More Conservative
December 16, 2021 -- A map for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved Wednesday by a citizens redistricting commission turns the 3rd District that includes Santa Monica more conservative.

School District Survey Finds Strong Support for Vaccine Mandate
December 16, 2021 -- An large majority of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District parents, students and staff said they would support a mandate on vaccines for students, according to a survey released by the District Thursday.

Council Votes to Keep Disabilities Commission, Discusses 'Civility' Policy
December 15, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday voted to consolidate three Commissions but keep the Disabilities Commission and set term limits for regional boards.

School District's Failed Equity Policy Promotes Increased Class Sizes
December 15, 2021 -- Why must the SMMUSD Board consistently choose to cut teachers in favor of spending millions of salary dollars on new, expensive, unproven “check the box” programs?

Santa Monica Sees Weekly Spike in COVID Cases
December 14, 2021 -- Weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica jumped to the highest level in nearly four months, despite strict face mask mandates and a high vaccination rate.

New York Developer Poised to Buy 8 Prime Downtown Properties
December 14, 2021 -- WSC -- Santa Monica's biggest residential developer -- is expected to close on the sale of eight fully entitled sites Downtown before the end of the year, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

Council to Debate Term Limits for Regional Boards
December 13, 2021 -- On Tuesday night, the City Council is expected to decide whether to impose term limits on two regional boards that have been represented by the same appointees for more than two decades.

School District Students Get Free Rides
December 13, 2021 -- Starting this week, School District students can begin purchasing $3 transit passes at their schools that give them free, unlimited rides on public transit.

Council Revisits 'Out-Of-Control' Illegal Pier Vendors
December 10, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday used words like "chaos," "melee" and "out of control" to describe the renegade vendors who overrun the Santa Monica Pier on weekends.

Council Poised to Extend Outdoor Fee Waivers
December 10, 2021 -- With surveys showing nearly all Santa Monica residents want to eat and shop outside, the City Council on Tuesday is expected to extend through June 30 fee waivers for businesses that operate outdoors.

EXTRA -- Council Breaks With Union, Backs Hotel's Proposal
December 9, 2021 -- In a major blow to the politically powerful hotel workers union, the City Council on Tuesday approved new uses at the Shore Hotel, which has been embroiled in a bitter unionizing battle.

SMC Receives $5 Million Federal Grant
December 9, 2021 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has received a nearly $5 million five-year federal grant to expand opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for Hispanic and low-income students, the college announced this week.

Homeless Man Found Guilty of 2018 Rape in Ocean Park
December 8, 2021 -- A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday found a homeless man guilty of raping a Santa Monica woman in her Ocean Park apartment three and a half years ago.

OPINION -- School Board Should Ditch Unreliable PCR Tests
December 8, 2021 -- How many false-positive results have been recorded by the School District's weekly PCR test? How many children were wrongfully quarantined?

Local COVID Cases Increase, Omicron Detected in LA County
December 7, 2021 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica ticked up last week after a brief dip, while another virus-related death was reported, according to County Health data.

Santa Monica Schools Take Precautions After Perceived Threats
December 7, 2021 -- Santa Monica High School opened on Tuesday and provided counseling to students disturbed by a threatening post on social media, District officials said.

SPECIAL REPORT -- City Employee Vaccination Rates Lag Behind School District
December 6, 2021 -- Vaccination rates among School District employees are significantly higher than those among City staff, according to data provided by both City and District officials.

Santa Claus is Safely Coming to Town!
December 6, 2021 -- Santa Claus, escorted by fire engines, police cars and motorcycles, will pay a safe -- socially distanced -- visit to Santa Monica Saturday.

Samohi Student Under Investigation for Threatening Snapchat Post
December 6, 2021 -- A Santa Monica High School student was removed from campus Monday after school officials were alerted to a "disturbing post" on snapchat, District officials said.

Councilmembers Want Answers to "Simple" Questions About Homeless Efforts
December 3, 2021 -- Last December, Phil Brock was sworn in after finishing first in the race for City Council by promising to tackle Santa Monica's entrenched homeless problem.

SMC Planetarium Focuses on Long Delayed Missions and the Winter Solstice
December 3, 2021 -- The Santa Monica College Planetarium will present shows this month that focus on two long-awaited launches and on the ancient observances of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Proponents of Dividing School District into Trustee Areas Submit Plan
December 2, 2021 -- Proponents of dividing the School District into trustee areas submitted their plan to County Education officials last week, according to a representative for the group.

Council Poised to Change Priorities for We Are Santa Monica Fund
December 2, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to expand the priorities for a fund established to support Santa Monica's recovery from the coronavirus shutdown.

Santa Monica Rents Drop for First Time This Year
December 1, 2021 -- Rents in Santa Monica dipped by 1.8 percent last month, marking the first decrease since last December, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report.

The Art of Display at Santa Monica College Gallery
December 1, 2021 -- Two artists have turned window display cases into mini art exhibitions as part of the Santa Monica College (SMC) Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery's efforts to expand art beyond its walls.
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