Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- APRIL 2022

Civic Leader Iao Katagiri Dead at 70
April 29, 2022 -- Iao Katagiri -- whose petite stature was graced with a quiet wisdom and a big heart that brought out the best in Santa Monica -- died Thursday of cancer. She was 70.

Poll Finds Most Santa Monica Residents Want More Police
April 29, 2022 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents taken this week found that an overwhelming majority support increasing police funding to hire more officers.

Plastic Bag Bans Could Be Backfiring, Study Finds
April 28, 2022 -- Santa Monica's decade-old ban on single-use plastic carryout bags -- which helped trigger a nationwide trend -- may be backfiring, according to a report issued by two major universities earlier this year.

Santa Monica Rents Fall Flat
April 28, 2022 -- Santa Monica rental rates fell flat in April after rising last month for the first time since October, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Thursday.

City Seeks More Time to Meet State Housing Deadline
April 27, 2022 -- Facing stiff penalties, the City Council on Tuesday voted to try and buy more time to revise a plan rejected by the State to build nearly 9,000 new housing units over the next eight years.

SMC's Global Motion Brings World Dances Home
April 27, 2022 -- SMC’S Global Motion World Dance Company will showcase dances from across the planet next month -- from Mexican Folklórico to Samba Reggae.

Second Dune Coming to Santa Monica Beach
April 26, 2022 -- A second stretch of sand at the northern end of Santa Monica Beach will be transformed into a natural habitat after the Bay Foundation received a $300,000 grant to build another dune.

Samohi Makes Top 5 Percent in Popular High School Rankings
April 26, 2022 -- Relying on prior years' data due to school shutdowns, U.S. News and World Report ranked Samohi among the top 850 high schools in the nation in its 2022 rankings.

It's Deja Vu for Santa Monica's Homeless Policies
April 26, 2022 -- "City Begins Major Shift in Homeless Policies." "Homeless Account for High Percentage of Arrests." "Homelessness Again Tops List of Resident Concerns." These are some of the headlines that made local news two decades ago. And they continue in 2022.

Local COVID Cases Spiked Last Week
April 25, 2022 -- There were 247 coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica last week, the most in nearly three months, as the relatively mild BA.2 Omicron subvariant spreads throughout the County and nation.

LETTERS -- Council Members Must Denounce Notion City Wants More Homeless
April 22, 2022 -- For anyone wondering if certain City Council members willingly attract more homeless people to our City, note Sue Himmelrich’s recent radio comments.

SMC Offers Space Updates and an Intimate Look at a Nurse as Patient
April 22, 2022 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will focus on two space missions during its planetarium shows next month, while its lecture series will explore what it's like when a nurse becomes a patient.

Santa Monica Needs Radical Shift in Homeless Policies, Report Recommends
April 21, 2022 -- Santa Monica must strike out in a new direction if it hopes to make significant inroads in addressing its longstanding homeless problem, a new report concludes.

Children, Cats Evacuated During Pico Apartment Fire
April 21, 2022 -- Police officers helped evacuate several tenants, including five children, from a burning apartment unit in the Pico Neighborhood Wednesday night after an officer patrolling the area smelled smoke.

Santa Monica to Keep Private Security Force at Pier
April 20, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a $485,000 contract extension to continue providing beefed up private security at the Santa Monica Pier.

Council Hikes Campaign Contribution Limit
April 20, 2022 -- The City Council last week took a different tack on campaign financing -- arguing that individual contribution limits need to be jacked up higher than inflation.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Santa Monica Police Force Faces Record Shortage of Officers
April 19, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) is facing a record shortage of officers, with one-fifth of its budgeted force missing from action, according to data provided by the Department.

Firefighters Extinguish Blaze in Pico Neighborhood Apartment
April 19, 2022 -- Firefighters quickly extinguished a blaze that broke out in an apartment building in the Pico Neighborhood shortly before midnight Monday.

Local COVID Cases Rise, No New Deaths Reported
April 18, 2022 -- For the first time this year, Santa Monica recorded no weekly COVID-related deaths, although case numbers continued to rise last week, according to County data.

Four Suspects Arrested in Catalytic Converter Theft
April 15, 2022 -- Four suspects were arrested for grand theft in the early hours Friday after police found a stolen catalytic converter and a cache of burglary tools in their vehicle.

Students Must Test Negative to Return to School
April 15, 2022 -- Public school students in Santa Monica and Malibu must test negative and should wear a face mask when they return to school Monday, District officials said.

Big Blue Bus to Take Cash Again
April 14, 2022 -- Big Blue Bus (BBB) passengers can begin using cash again this summer after the City Council on Tuesday reversed a unanimous vote last September to only allow "contactless" fares.

Santa Monica Has No Direct Russian Investments, Finance Official Says
April 13, 2022 -- Santa Monica's government has no direct investments in Russian assets that the City can pull to protest Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the City's finance director said last week.

SMC Series Offers Tips from Industry Professionals
April 13, 2022 -- Animation, 3-D storytelling and how to get a your film into a festival are the subjects of Santa Monica College's (SMC) Communication, Media & Design series this spring.

Santa Monica COVID Cases Rise
April 12, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica saw a significant increase over the past two weeks, reflecting a countywide trend, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

USPS Suspends Service on One Block After Carrier Attacked with Broomstick
April 11, 2022 -- A mail carrier attacked with a broomstick by a Santa Monica resident nearly three months ago is making national headlines after the U.S. Postal Service suspended mail delivery on the block.

Council to Open Doors Tuesday, Boards and Commissions Could Keep Them Closed
April 11, 2022 -- During its first meeting in more than two years with the public present, the City Council will pave the way for Boards and Commissions to continue meeting remotely.

Longtime Santa Monica Landlord Activist, Attorney Dies at 75
April 8, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Landlord attorney Rosario Perry -- whose wildly creative legal arguments helped shape Santa Monica's rent control laws for four decades -- died Thursday night. He was 75.

Homeless Man Sentenced to 100 Years to Life in Ocean Park Rape
April 8, 2022 --A homeless man convicted of raping a Santa Monica woman in her Ocean Park apartment in 2018 was sentenced Friday to 100 years to life in state prison.

Slow-Growth Group Launches Battle to Stop Project on Gelson's Site
April 7, 2022 -- A slow growth Santa Monica group with a hefty legal warchest is taking on the city's biggest housing development in more than half a century, despite warnings the project can't be stopped under State law.

OPINION -- Addressing Safety in Our Community
April 7, 2022 -- As your City Manager and Police Chief, we would like to address the recent local and regional news coverage of a report portraying Santa Monica as unsafe.

Council Poised to Jack Up Campaign Contribution Limit
April 4, 2022 -- Soaring inflation -- which has jacked up consumer prices -- could soon hit Santa Monica's political arena. On Tuesday, the City Council will take up a proposed ordinance that would increase the limit of campaign contributions made by individuals from $340 to $410.

Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Starting Fire During Santa Monica Riots
April 6, 2022 -- A 20-year-old West Hills man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Wednesday for setting fire to a Sushi restaurant in Downtown Santa Monica during the 2020 riots.

LETTERS -- Mega-Buildings for Everyone Else but Me
April 6, 2022 -- Tax the rich! Yeah! But where will that ocean of money go? It will pay for huge numbers of giant buildings for non-residents -- many built on your street.

Police Weigh in on Report Listing Santa Monica Among Least Safe California Cities
April 5, 2022 -- The Police Department on Monday responded to a flurry of news stories based on a recent report that found Santa Monica was one of the State's least safe cities.

Greenberg to Retire as Head of Ed Foundation
April 5, 2022 -- Linda Greenberg -- who helped turn the Santa Monica Education Foundation into a local fundraisig powerhouse -- will retire from the top post she has held for 28 years.

EVs Catch Fire in Parking Structure Crash
April 4, 2022 -- Two electric vehicles caught fire when they crashed inside a Downtown parking garage Friday evening. The fires come as EV automakers recently announced a series of vehicle recalls worldwide due to battery cell fire risks.

Signs Indicate Santa Monica's Economy is Recovering, Officials Say
April 4, 2022 -- Santa Monica's economy is embarking on a path to recovery, with more than 750 new business permits approved last year, but it remains far below pre-pandemic levels, City officials said Monday.

LETTERS -- Homeless Strategy More of the Same Old
Santa Monica's well-worn strategy to address homelessness looks like more of the same old, same old. Doubling down on ineffective ideas will not make them effective.

Two Arrested in North of Montana Armed Robbery
April 1, 2022 -- A man and woman from Riverside were arrested for armed robbery in the upscale North of Montana neighborhood Thursday evening, according to police.

Date Rape Suspect Pleads Guilty
April 1, 2022 -- A man charged with using a date rape drug at a Santa Monica restaurant in 2016 pleaded guilty last month and must register as a sex offender and serve time in jail, police said Thursday.

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