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Santa Monica
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Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

EXTRA -- Coleman Resigns from School Board
August 31, 2022 -- School Board member Keith Coleman resigned from his appointed position on Wednesday but will still appear on the November ballot in the race for four open seats.

OPINION -- Superintendent’s Message: Board Member Coleman Resignation Announcement
I would like to inform you that I received the resignation of board member Keith Coleman, today, effective immediately.

City Hires Equity and Inclusion Manager
August 31, 2022 -- Santa Monica has hired an Equity and Inclusion Manager to oversee efforts to diversify the City's institutional culture, City officials announced Tuesday.

Rents Dip in Santa Monica After Slowly Inching Up
August 30, 2022 -- After slowly rising over the past five months, rents in Santa Monica dipped in August by less than 1 percent, according to Apartment List's monthly rent report released Tuesday.

Water Near Pier Remains Under Health Advisory as Temperatures Soar
August 30, 2022 -- Beachgoers flocking to Santa Monica on Labor Day weekend to escape a record-breaking heat wave should avoid cooling off in the water near the Santa Monica Pier.

COVID-19 Cases Continue Dropping, Deaths Persist
August 29, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases continued dropping in Santa Monica last week to 132 confirmed cases, the lowest level since early April.

'Pulse' Poll Finds Most Local Voters Undecided
August 29, 2022 -- A select poll of Santa Monica residents found that few have made up their minds on how they'll vote in the November election but strongly oppose the idea of housing the homeless in hotels.

EXTRA -- Incumbent Abruptly Drops Out of School Board Race
August 26, 2022 -- Incumbent Keith Coleman has abruptly dropped out of the race for four open seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board but has not given a reason for his decision.

Council Approves One-Time Funding to Enhance Library Services
August 25, 2022 -- Santa Monica's public libraries will receive a one-time infusion of more than $500,000, marking a "milestone" in restoring services decimated by the coronavirus shutdown.

SMC's Fall Literary Series Features Fact and Fiction
August 25, 2022 -- If you've ever wondered where you fit in or if your other half exists, Santa Monica College's upcoming Live Literary Talks & Readings might suggest some answers.

Council Approves Emergency Eviction Moratorium After Heated Debate
August 24, 2022 -- Under an emergency ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday, rent control tenants who receive a rent increase of more than 3 percent can defer their rent for up to five months.

SMC Planetarium Tackles Topics With a Sci-Fi Bent
August 24, 2022 -- Samples brought back from Mars, a disc meant to be found by aliens and a system to deflect incoming asteroids might sound like science fiction topics.

Relief Program for Rent Control Tenants Kicks Off Monday
August 23, 2022 -- The City on Monday will begin accepting applications for a one-time program that will distribute $750,000 to low-income tenants unable to pay their upcoming rent increases.

SMC to Launch Groundbreaking Aquaculture Certificate Program
August 23, 2022 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is launching an innovative Aquaculture Certificate program to prepare students for the rapidly growing "blue economy" centered on the world's oceans.

COVID Cases Drop to Lowest Level in Over 4 Months
August 22, 2022 - With the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variants slowly ebbing, Santa Monica recorded the lowest number of coronavirus cases in more than four months.

City Council to Consider Eviction Moratorium
August 22, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday will take up an emergency ordinance that protects tenants from eviction if they can't afford to pay a monthly rent increase of more than 3 percent over the next six months.

Dog Goes Blind After Walk in Palisades Park
August 19, 2022 -- The story of a dog who went blind after swallowing oxycodone during a walk in Palisades Park on Sunday is quickly spreading nationwide.

Three Inmates Charged in 'Whitey' Bulger Killing
August 19, 2022 -- A Mafia hitman and two other inmates have been charged with the 2018 beating death of former Santa Monica resident James "Whitey" Bulger in a West Virginia federal prison, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Santa Monica Ballot Order Set
August 18, 2022 -- Challengers will top of the ballot in three of the four Santa Monica races November 8, gaining what could be a slight advantage with voters.

Fight Breaks Out at Samohi
August 18, 2022 -- Squad cars swarmed the Samohi campus on the first day of school Thursday after a fight broke out that led to one student being arrested and another hospitalized.

City Council Poised to Approve COVID-Related Contracts
August 17, 2022 -- Santa Monica City government is expected to remain in COVID mode with continued testing, contact tracing and remote meetings for most Boards and Commissions.

13 Candidates File for Council Race
August 17, 2022 -- Four City Council hopefuls filed nominating papers on Wednesday, the final filing date, while six others did not file, according to a candidate list posted by the City Clerk.

Local COVID Cases Continue Dropping
August 16, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases continued to drop in Santa Monica, although a highly contagious variant has quickly spread in local nursing homes and among Big Blue Bus employees, according to the latest data from LA County Health officials.

Burglary Suspect Arrested North of Montana
August 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica police on Saturday afternoon arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for a string of thefts in a residential neighborhood north of Montana Avenue.

Field of Potential Candidates Dwindles
August 15, 2022 -- With Wednesday's deadline to submit nominating petitions for City Council and School and College Boards looming, the field of potential candidates is dwindling.

School District Opts for Weekly COVID Testing at Home
August 15, 2022 -- The School District is working on a plan to provide free weekly at-home testing kits to all students and staff, exceeding recommendations from the County and State, District officials announced Monday.

Suspect Arrested for Murder in Year's Second Homicide
August 12, 2022 -- A man was arrested for murder Thursday morning after he was seen exiting a Downtown apartment where a woman was found dead. The homicide comes two weeks after a man was fatally stabbed in the courtyard of the Main Library.

SMC Exhibition Offers 'Consciousness-Shifting' View of Native Cultures
August 12, 2022 -- Over the past decade, artist Matika Wilbur has traveled further than the moon in her RV, "The Big Girl;" on horseback and plane, boat and by foot to capture the faces of Native Americans.

Federal Judge Paves Way for Deposition of Mayor's Husband in Housing Lawsuit
August 11, 2022 -- A U.S. District Court judge last month paved the way for the deposition of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights' (SMRR) co-chair Michael Soloff in a lawsuit challenging the City's ban on short-term rentals.

Sex Offender Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor
August 11, 2022 -- Police are seeking possible victims of a registered sex offender arrested last Friday for allegedly groping a 16-year-old girl in Downtown Santa Monica.

LETTERS -- Santa Monica's Entrenched Homeless Strategy an 'Abject Failure'
August 11, 2022 -- The City must stop enticing more homeless individuals to come here and dispense with any delusion that because homelessness is not a crime, homeless crime is not a crisis.

Opposing Arguments Promise Bitter Transfer Tax Battle
August 10, 2022 -- The arguments for and against two rival transfer tax measures on the November ballot offer a clear glimpse of what promises to be a hotly contested battle.

LETTERS -- Our City Needs a Whistleblower
August 10, 2022 -- Santa Monica police officers must be getting instructions from the city bosses, but they can't speak up without fear of retaliation.

Police Hold 'Shoulder Tap' Operation
August 10, 2022 -- How many adults in Santa Monica would buy liquor for a minor? Police set out to answer that question last Friday.

As COVID Cases Drop, Complacency Grows
August 9, 2022 -- As the School Board prepares to debate COVID policies on Thursday, a lack of interest, and even skepticism, about the dangers the virus poses appears to be growing.

'Americana in the Park' Concert Series Returns
August 9, 2022 -- Santa Monica kicks off the second-annual Americana in the Park concert series next month in Gandara Park with a native Tongva blessing and kora music from West Africa.

OPINION -- Santa Monica Police Officers Association Sets the Record Straight
August 9, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) would like to bring clarity to misconceptions about crime and public safety presence and correct the record on a series of falsehoods.

City Wins Injunction Against Landlords in Section 8 Discrimination Case
August 8, 2022 -- The City Attorney's office has won a stipulated judgment against three landlords who refused to accept a Section 8 housing voucher from a disabled senior who has lived in her apartment for 25 years.

Foster Not to Seek Re-Election to School Board
August 8, 2022 -- Craig Foster -- the only Malibu resident on the School Board and an outspoken champion of the city's efforts to split from the District -- announced on Friday that he would not seek reelection.

Only 4 Candidates Pull Papers Over Past 2 Weeks
August 5, 2022 -- After a quick start to election season, only four prospective candidates have pulled nominating papers over the past two weeks for four local races, while one has withdrawn.

District Announces COVID Policies for Upcoming School Year
August 5, 2022 -- Santa Monica schools will be functioning "as normally as possible" under revised policies that strongly recommend instead of mandate facemasks and tests, District officials said Friday.

Police Launch Public Survey Tool
August 4, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Police Department launched a public survey tool on Thursday that officials say will help them "better understand local concerns, priorities, and trust in public safety officers."

LETTERS -- Santa Monica's Unspoken Trade-Off
August 4, 2022 -- The mere fact that one part of the economy -- housing -- is targeted for complete destruction to favor the demand-side tenants speaks for itself.

Council Unanimously Backs SMRR's Proposal to Cut Rent Increases
August 3, 2022 -- The City Council's "Change" slate joined in a unanimous vote Wednesday night to place a proposed Charter Amendment on the November ballot that would reduce rent increases pushed by Santa Monica's political establishment.

Water Near Pier Under Health Advisory
August 3, 2022 -- The water around the Santa Monica Pier continues to be routinely included in Los Angeles County's health advisory list.

Impact of Homeless Programs Measured in Report
August 2, 2022 -- From April through June, Santa Monica's three multidisciplinary outreach teams made more than 11,000 contacts with homeless persons, according to the latest Homelessness Report to the City Council.

Santa Monica Rents Rise in July
August 2, 2022 -- Santa Monica rents increased by 1.6 percent in July after growing by less than 1 percent in each of the prior three months, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday.

Man Fatally Stabbed in Library Courtyard
August 1, 2022 -- A fatal stabbing Friday in courtyard of the Main Library involving two homeless men marked the first homicide in Santa Monica this year.

EXTRA -- Negrete Pulls Proposal to Address Rent Increases
August 1, 2022 -- Five days after igniting a firestorm with a last-minute proposal to address near record rent increases, Councilmember Lana Negrete has pulled her plan.

OPINION -- Open Letter from Councilmember Lana Negrete
August 8, 2022 -- Editor's note: On Sunday, July 31 at 2:42 p.m. Denny Zane sent an email requesting that an Open Letter to Councilmember Lana Negrete he had emailed on July 30 at 9:23 p.m. not be published. The Lookout did not see the request until after the letter had been published. The letter, therefore, has been removed.

OPINION -- Denny Zane's Open Letter to Councilmember Lana Negrete
August 1, 2022 -- Your proposal does not actually target the help to low income renters; you want middle income renters to pay for this by increasing their rents very unfairly.

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