Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

EXTRA -- Roger Thornton -- the Quiet Power Behind SMRR -- Dead at 79
October 29, 2021 -- Roger Thornton -- a founding member of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) who played a major behind-the-scenes role in turning the grassroots group into a local political powerhouse -- died in his Santa Monica home Wednesday. He was 79.

Poll of Engaged Residents Finds Most Want Tougher Stance on Crime
October 28, 2021 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with crime found the vast majority favor increased foot patrols and clearing homeless encampments and are withholding judgment on the City's new police chief.

Police Offer Halloween Safety Tips
October 28, 2021 -- Ghouls and skeletons haunting Santa Monica's sreets on Halloween and Dia de los Muertos still need to obey the same safety rules as mere mortals, police cautioned Thursday.

Teenager Stabs Man Downtown
October 27, 2021 -- A female teenager was arrested after stabbing a man multiple times in Downtown Santa Monica late Tuesday night, police said.

LETTERS -- Council Must Act Now to Solve 'Out-of-Control' Homeless Problem
The City Council must stop doubling down on failed solutions and take serious action to solve Santa Monica's homelessness crisis.

3 New Coronavirius-Related Deaths, as Local Cases Remain Low
October 26, 2021 -- There were three coronavirus-related deaths in Santa Monica over the past two weeks, while confirmed cases remained at a steady low level, according to County Health data.

Santa Monica Police, Fire Vaccination Rates Lag
October 26, 2021 -- With Friday's vaccine deadline for City workers fast approaching, one quarter of Santa Monica's Police Department and more than one-third of its Fire Department remain unvaccinated after being granted exemptions, according to data from the City.

Lieu Signs Letter Demanding Answers from Fauci About "Brutal" Puppy Experiments
October 25, 2021 -- U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, whose district includes Santa Monica, is among two dozen lawmakers who expressed "grave concerns" that the health agency headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci has been funding "brutal" experiments on puppies.

SMC Planetarium Offers "Survival Guide" for Holiday Telescope Shoppers
October 25, 2021 -- You're giving that budding astronomer a telescope for the holidays: Do you go for the one with a 114mm or 70mm aperture? The German equatorial mount or the Alt-az mount?

Supporters Mount Latest Push to Save Downtown Parking Structure
October 21, 2021 -- Supporters of saving a Downtown parking structure slated to be torn down and replaced with affordable housing submitted a petition to top City officials Friday they said has garnered 5,000 signatures.

SMC Lecturers Discuss Animation and Compensation
October 21, 2021 -- How to open an animation studio and learning to evaluate benefits and compensation are the topics of Santa Monica College's (SMC) Business & Entrepreneurship Lecture Series next month.

Local Governing Bodies to Continue Holding Virtual Meetings Under Proposed Resolution
October 21, 2021 -- Santa Monica's elected and appointed bodies will continue to meet with no public in physical attendance under a resolution the City Council is expected to approve Tuesday.

Police Looking for Suspect Who Set Homeless Man on Fire
October 21, 2021 -- Santa Monica police are searching for a suspect who set a homeless man on fire while he slept in Ozone Park near the Venice border Saturday night.

Santa Monica Prepares to Launch Mandatory Organics Recycling
October 20, 2021 -- Santa Monica residents and businesses will soon need to sort organic waste from their garbage, while large food-related businesses will also need to recover and donate edible leftovers.

Downtown to Host Día de los Muertos Celebration
October 20, 2021 -- Fourteen-foot-tall sculptures of the famous bonneted skeleton, "La Catrina," will greet visitors to the Promenade as part of a Día de los Muertos celebration Saturday, October 30.

Homeless Attack in Santa Monica Makes International Headlines
October 19, 2021 -- An attack by a homeless woman in Santa Monica last week made national and international news Tuesday after it was revealed that one of her three victims was a reality TV contestant.

Space Technology Past and Future at the SMC Planetarium
October 19, 2021 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium looks back at the impacts of space technology on our daily lives and forward to the imminent launch of a spaceship that will take us anywhere in the inner solar system.

Rift Widens on Police Reform Commission
October 18, 2021 -- A member of Santa Monica's Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission (PSROC) on Monday denounced Chair George Brown's decision to send a draft report to the City Council without the group's approval.

Ed Foundation Launches Pledge Week With Matching Grant
October 18, 2021 -- Santa Monica Place and its owner, Macerich, will support the Santa Monica Education Foundation with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $15,000 starting Monday.

Police Reform Commission Fails to Approve Report
October 15, 2021 -- Santa Monica's newly formed police oversight commission failed Thursday night to approve its first report to the City Council, but the group's Chair submitted it anyway.

Council Authorizes $700,000 Contract for Inspector General for Police Oversight Commission
October 15, 2021 -- The City Council on Tuesday voted to authorize a five-year $700,000 contract with the OIR Group to serve as Inspector General for the newly formed police oversight commission.

City Hires Outside Counsel to Help Fight Councilmember's Case
October 14, 2021 -- The City Attorney has hired outside counsel to help fight a lawsuit filed by Councilmember Oscar de la Torre claiming he is being illegally excluded from deliberations on the voting rights lawsuit.

Santa Monica Hires Former Mesa Police Chief Who Championed ReformOctober 14, 2021 -- Ramon Batista, Jr. -- who as Mesa, Arizona's Police Chief battled the union over police reforms -- has been hired as Santa Monica's first Latino police chief. A 35-year law enforcement veteran, Batista will take the reins from Interim Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks on Monday.

EXTRA -- Council Cautiously Approves Housing Plan
October 13, 2021 -- A divided City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to build nearly 9,000 new housing units, but will warn State officials their daunting mandate will likely be impossible to meet without help.

Coronavirus Cases Continue Dropping as Vaccine Mandates Go Into Effect
October 12, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica and across the Los Angeles region continued dropping as County officials begin instituting one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation.

OPINION -- Hello, Santa Monica
October 11, 2021 -- When we work together and build strong partnerships that value the input of each and every person’s perspective, I am confident that we will be successful, writes City Manager David White.

City Prepares to Submit Plan to Build Nearly 9,000 Housing Units
October 8, 2021 -- The City Council is expected to approve a plan Tuesday that meets a State mandate to build 8,895 housing units by 2029, more than two-thirds of them affordable.

SMC Literary Review Chronicles "Our Broken Moment"
October 8, 2021 -- Santa Monica College's prestigious literary magazine is launching its fall issue this week featuring 15 original short stories that range from fictional reports to dreams.

More Child Molestation Cases Filed Against City
October 7, 2021 -- Less than two months after the City Council approved a $54.9 million settlement with 61 alleged child molestation victims of a former City employee, another 11 cases have been filed.

Police Seek Help Finding Suspects in Ocean Park Shooting
October 7, 2021 -- Santa Monica police are asking the public's help in finding two suspects in a shooting that took place in Ocean Park two weeks ago.

City's Legal War with Major Developer Flares Again
October 6, 2021 -- The City fired its latest volley in an ongoing legal battle with Santa Monica's largest market-rate developer last week charging it turned what was once a 10-unit rent control building into vacation rentals.

Wheels Settles Lawsuit with City, DA
October 6, 2021 -- A shared mobility company that operates a fleet of no-pedal e-bikes in Santa Monica has reached a $300,000 settlement with the City and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

EXTRA -- Judge Rejects City's Motion to Dismiss de la Torre's Case
October 5, 2021 -- (UPDATED) A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected the City's motion to dismiss a case filed by Councilmember Oscar de la Torre claiming he does not have a conflict of interest in the voting rights lawsuit against the City.

Firefighters Extinguish Blaze at Santa Monica Goodwill Store
October 5, 2021 -- The Santa Monica Fire Department is investigating the origins of a fire that raged inside the Goodwill store early Sunday morning.

Refurbished 1950s Santa Monica Apartment Complex Sells for $70 Million
October 4, 2021 -- A refurbished 38-unit apartment building that was the subject of a bitter battle to keep affordable housing in Santa Monica has sold for $70 million, the selling agent announced Monday.

Council Paves Way for New Uses to Revitalize Promenade
October 4 , 2021 -- Hard hit by a coronavirus shutdown that cut sales and foot traffic in half, the Third Street Promenade is poised to expand its offerings after the City Council last week unanimously approved immediate zoning changes.

City Sues Insurance Companies Over Child Molestation Claim Expenses
October 1, 2021 -- The City of Santa Monica on Thursday sued half a dozen insurance companies who allegedly failed to help pay the more than $100 million in expenses related to child molestation claims against the City.

County Heath Officials Extend Health Advisory for Waters Near Pier
October 1, 2021 -- As beachgoers take advantage of warm weather this weekend before temperatures begin to dip, health officials are advising avoiding the waters near the Santa Monica Pier.
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