Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

Water Advisory for Santa Monica Beaches Lifted
July 30, 2021 -- As the crippled Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant continues spilling partially treated wastewater into the ocean, Los Angeles County Health officials on Friday lifted water quality warnings at Santa Monica beaches.

RAND Artwork Explores Body Monitoring Devices
July 30, 2021 -- The benefits and risks of devices used to monitor the human body and transmit the collected data is the subject of "Internet of Bodies: Our Connected Future," a new artwork by the RAND Corporation's artist-in-residence Giorgia Lupi.

Santa Monica Sees Near Record Number of Weekly COVID Cases
July 29, 2021 -- Santa Monica recorded its third highest number of weekly coronavirus cases last week despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in Los Angeles County, according to County Health data.

Police Chief to Hold Public Meeting on Riot Report
July 29, 2021 -- On Monday, top police brass will hold a community meeting via teleconference to discuss the department's response to an after-action report on the May 31, 2020 riots.

LETTERS -- Responses to de la Torre's Conflict 'Misleading and Amusing'
July 27, 2021 -- One critic ignores the key issue addressed in my letter, while the other expects me to address other issues as well.

Council Approves Nepotism Policy for Boards and Commissions
July 28, 2021 -- Close relatives of City Councilmembers will be barred from serving on Boards and Commissions under a new nepotism policy approved by the City Council Tuesday.

Council Approves Contract with New City Manager
July 28, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved a five-year contract with incoming City Manager David White that pays a base salary of $340,000 a year.

LETTERS -- A Ridiculous and Unfounded Attack
July 28, 2021 -- In contrast to Mr. Dellinger's hypothetical cases, neither Mr. De La Torre nor his wife would benefit financially from the Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA) winning the voters rights lawsuit against the City.

LETTERS -- Selective Criticism Shows Bias
July 28, 2021 -- What I have learned after observing people over my 47 years of business is that people that criticize people selectively are biased.

Santa Monica Rents Rise for Fourth Straight Month, Report Finds
July 27, 2021 -- Rents in Santa Monica rose for the fourth straight month, but its year-over-year growth rate remains flat, according to a report released by Apartment List Tuesday.

Homeless Man Charged With Hate Crime in Santa Monica Assault
July 27, 2021 -- Los Angeles County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 65-year-old homeless man who allegedly assaulted a Korean woman in Downtown Santa Monica Friday with a hate crime.

LETTERS -- Ethically Unsuited for Political Office
July 27, 2021 -- In backing Councilmember Oscar de la Torre's efforts to weigh in on the voting rights case, his fellow slate members placed their "politics" beyond any recognition of a moral obligation to the very voters they pretend to represent.

LETTERS -- Wishful Thinking on Main Street
July 27, 2021 -- The enticing dream of car-free, European-style city streets must yield to the reality of Santa Monica’s actual streets, not what we might wish they were.

Councilmember Items Tackle Nepotism, Criminal Justice Reforms
July 26, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday will take up a "nepotism policy" for boards and commissions, as well as a resolution calling on LA County's top prosecutor to "uphold the laws of the State."

Landmarks Commission Denied Legal Say in Mural "Cover-Up," Conservancy Contends
July 26, 2021 -- Calling it "a cover-up of the cover-up" Santa Monica historic preservationists are denouncing the City's decision to veil City's Hall's iconic murals without the Landmarks Commission's approval.

EXTRA -- De la Torre Has Conflict in Voting Rights Suit, Judge Rules
July 23, 2021 -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling Friday that effectively bars Councilmember Oscar de la Torre from participating in Council deliberations on the voting rights lawsuit against the City.

SMC Planetarium Presents "The Meteors of Summer"
July 23, 2021 -- On August 12, when moonlight is "relatively absent" and the sky "fairly dark," star gazers can sit back and enjoy the peak of a summer sky show without a telescope.

David White Council Taps Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Run Santa Monica
July 22, 2021 -- After a brief closed door session, the City Council unanimously voted late Tuesday afternoon to hire Berkeley Deputy City Manager David White as Santa Monica's permanent City Manager.

Most Santa Monica Residents Back Newsom Recall, Ban on Lobbyists, Poll Finds
July 22, 2021 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found that most plan to vote to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and also support a ban on lobbyists serving on local boards and Commissions.

City Reports 12 COVID Cases Among Staff
July 21, 2021 -- A dozen Santa Monica City workers have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past two weeks, according to County Health data confirmed by the City.

Council on Thursday Could Take Step Towards Settling Voting Rights Case
July 21, 2021 -- The City Council on Thursday could take a significant step toward ending the voting rights lawsuit against the City by allowing Councilmember Oscar de la Torre to participate in determining its fate.

30-Year-Old Hate Crime Will Likely Remain Unsolved, Police Say
July 19, 2021 -- Santa Monica police investigating a hate letter mailed to Latino Samohi families 30 years ago interviewed two potential suspects before exhausting "all known and viable leads," Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said Thursday.

Police Make Burglary, Assault Arrests Sunday
July 19, 2021 -- Santa Monica police on Sunday arrested a homeless man who allegedly stabbed a victim on the beach and in a separate incident caught two burglars stealing bicycles from a store on Main Street.

Serial Killer Arrested by Santa Monica Police Sentenced to Death
July 16, 2021 -- Michael Gargiulo, known as the "boy next door killer, "as sentenced to death by a Superior Court judge on Friday for the gruesome murder of two Los Angeles area women and the attempted murder of a third in Santa Monica.

Homeless Hiring Tax Credit Sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Signed into Law
July 16, 2021 -- A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that establishes a tax credit for employers who hire the homelss was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Friday.

Face Masks Must Be Worn Indoors in Santa Monica Again
July 15, 2021 -- Face masks must be worn indoors in Santa Monica regardless of vaccination status starting Saturday at 11:59 p.m., City officials announced Thursday evening. The order is meant to curb the spread of the more contagious, but less fatal, Delta variant.

SMC Seeks Applicants for Bond Oversight Committee
July 15, 2021 -- Business representatives from Santa Monica and Malibu interested in serving on Santa Monica College's (SMC) Citizens Bond Oversight Committee have until next Friday to file their application.

Measures to Address Historic Racism in Housing Get Approval
July 14, 2021 -- Steps were taken at both the state and local levels Tuesday night to address racist housing polices and practices that took place in the past century.

COVID Cases Spike in Santa Monica With No New Deaths
July 14, 2021 -- Santa Monica saw COVID cases spike last week, reflecting a countywide trend, but the number of virus-related deaths was reduced by one, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

New AG Takes No Position on "Particular Claims" in CVRA Case, Criticizes Appellate Court Ruling
July 13, 2021 -- (UPDATED) An eagerly awaited brief submitted Monday by the State Attorney General takes no position on "particular claims or factual disputes" in the Santa Monica voting rights case before the California Supreme Court. The brief, however, criticizes an Appellate Court decision in favor of the City, while questioning several of the City's key assumptions.

Santa Monica City Yards Project Gets High Bond Rating
July 13, 2021 -- One of the "Big Three" credit rating agencies announced Tuesday it has given a AA+ rating to the bonds that will help complete Santa Monica's City Yard's modernization project.

Santa Monica Deals With Fallout as Venice Encampments Cleared
July 12, 2021 -- Efforts continued over the weekend to ensure the homeless persons cleared from encampments pitched along the Venice Boardwalk don't relocate across the border in Santa Monica.

Council Reports No Action on City Manager Hiring
July 12, 2021 -- The Santa Monica City Council continued its search for a City Manager Saturday, meeting for some seven hours before reporting no decision.

Santa Monica Needs More Sunshine in the Decision-making Process
July 12, 2021 -- Given the unprecedented number of high stakes issues, the need for bright sunlight on every aspect of decision making has never been greater.

Plaintiffs in Voting Rights Case Ask Court to Strike Opposing Brief
July 9, 2021 -- The plaintiffs in the voting rights lawsuit against Santa Monica have asked the California Supreme Court to strike a brief on behalf of the City that argues for the use of federal standards to determine a key issue in the case.

Santa Monica Part of Task Force that Wins $2 Million Settlement with Dating Service
July 9, 2021 -- A task force composed of five County District Attorneys and the Santa Monica City Attorney's office reached a $2 million settlement Wednesday with

Council to Consider Barring Lobbyists From Boards and Commissions
July 8, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider taking steps to bar lobbyists from sitting on Santa Monica's Boards and Commissions.

Police Arrest Homeless Man Chasing Victim with Knives
July 8, 2021 -- Police arrested a transient wielding two large knives as he chased a man across Lincoln Boulevard Saturday.

Council to Consider 'Right to Return' Program
July 7, 2021 -- Households or their descendants -- predominantly Black and Latino -- displaced by urban renewal projects in Santa Monica in the 1950s and 60s could soon be given priority for affordable housing.

Santa Monica Fourth Worst City for First-Time Home Buyers
July 7, 2021 -- As more people became first-time home buyers last year, Santa Monica was ranked as the nation's fourth worst city to buy a first home, according to a survey by an online financial site released Tuesday.

NEWS ANALYSIS -- Gruesome Murder Attempt Highlights Differing Views on Crime Reports
July 6, 2021 -- (UPDATED) A press release issued by Santa Monica police on Sunday concerning a gruesome murder attempt early Friday morning has raised questions about when information about a case should be made public.

Texas Man Arrested for Carjacking, Attempted Murder
July 6, 2021 -- A homeless Texas man carjacked a couple exiting a Downtown Parking structure early Friday morning then ran the driver over after attempting to sexually assault his female companion, police said.

Two Men Arrested Friday Could Be Tied to Other Crimes, Police Say
July 2, 2021 -- Two men were arrested during a traffic stop shortly after midnight Friday after police found a loaded gun, drugs, a Halloween-style mask and other evidence of criminal activity in the vehicle.

Most Santa Monica Beaches Earn Top Grades During Dry Weather, Flunk During Wet Spells
July 1, 2021 -- Almost every stretch of Santa Monica Beach should have excellent water quality for swimming during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, according to Heal the Bay's 2020-21 Beach Report Card.

Man Arrested for Burglary After Smashing into Santa Monica Home
July 1, 2021 -- The residents of a Santa Monica home awoke before dawn Wednesday to find a man yelling in their living room, according to police.
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