Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Top Stories of 2022
January -- COVID and Homeless Remain in the Headlines
February -- Lessons in Power
March -- Dangerous City Ranking, Transfer Tax Trigger Debate
April -- City on Defense, Takes Misstep, Reverses Course
May -- Homeless Deaths, a Record Apartment Sale and a New City Attorney
June -- Shake-Ups and Taxes
July -- Surprise Political Moves and an Old Deed Rears Up
August -- Year's First Killings, School Board Seats Up for Grabs
September -- Airport Crash, Sheriff's Raid and Political Moves Make Headlines
October -- Dirty Politics, Rampant Development and a Major Blow to SMMUSD
November -- Status Quo Prevails, Drati Makes Surprise Exit
December -- Money, Money, Money

Year-End Poll Gauges City's Direction, Housing, Indoor Masking and Crime
December 27, 2022 -- A year-end poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with public safety found few believe the City is headed in the right direction, but many are keeping an open mind as a new Council takes over.

Former Santa Monica Mayor Dies in Plane Crash at 95
December 25, 2022 -- Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter died Thursday after the small single-engine plane he was a passenger in crash landed south of the Pier. He was 95.

Santa Monicans Meet Again Under the Fig Tree
December 22, 2022 -- The snow fell again and Santa Claus was back as nearly 1,000 Santa Monicans gathered under the Miramar Hotel's iconic fig tree to celebrate the holidays after a two-year hiatus.

More Sex Abuse Cases Against the City Filed as Deadline Looms
December 20, 2022 -- The number of new sex abuse cases involving former City employee Eric Uller is growing as attorneys scramble to find more plaintiffs before the December 31 filing deadline.

Santa Monica Sees Weekly Surge in COVID-Related Deaths
December 19, 2022 -- Santa Monica saw a surge in reported COVID-related deaths last week with four, the most in three months, according to data from the the LA County Health Department.

SMC Planetarium Offers First 'In-Person' Show Since COVID Shutdown
December 19, 2022 -- After nearly three years of remote Santa Monica College planetarium shows, attendees will finally get a hands on look at the stars next month.

School Board Hires Interim Superintendent
December 16, 2022 -- The School Board on Thursday tapped Assistant Superintendent Mark Kelly -- who has led human resources development and student services since 2015 -- to run the District on an interim basis.

OPINION -- Superintendent’s Message: Farewell SMMUSD
I write this last message to the community with both a heavy heart and optimism for SMMUSD. My optimism is due to knowing that we are collectively in the middle of something great with respect to us transforming the District.

City Extends Rent Relief Program After Fewer Than 500 Households Qualify
December 15, 2022 -- The City has extended a rent relief program for struggling rent control tenants after fewer than 500 applications were approved, leaving most of the $750,000 in funding unused.

COVID Cases Drop in Santa Monica, Countywide
December 15, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases fell last week in Santa Monica and across Los Angeles County despite warnings from Health officials that a post-Thanksgiving surge could be looming as holiday season kicks in.

Council Awards Kiosk Contract to Top Bidder
December 14, 2022 -- Hoping to end an acrimonious bidding war, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday awarded a lucrative wayfinding contract to BIG Outdoor while rejecting a proposal to start the process over.

Santa Monica Polar Bears to Hit Surf Sunday
December 14, 2022 -- It should be sunny and in the upper 50s Sunday as Santa Monica holds its annual Polar Bear Swim at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

WSC Submits Plans for First Builder's Remedy Project
December 13, 2022 -- WSC last week submitted its first full proposal for one of the 15 projects it rushed into Santa Monica's planning pipeline under the "builder's remedy" provision in State Housing law.

Bidder Claims Company Misled City to Win Lucrative 'Wayfinding' Contract
December 12, 2022 -- The runner-up in the bid for Santa Monica's lucrative outdoor kiosk program claims the company poised to win the contract lacks a pertinent track record and made unrealistic financial projections.

SMC Keeps Transfer Streak Alive
December 12, 2022 -- There was no internet to read the news when Santa Monica College (SMC) began its record 32-year streak as the number one transfer college to the University of California (UC) system.

Proposed Resolution Gives Police Reform Commissioners Ultimatum
December 9, 2022 -- Members of the City's Police Reform Commission have until February 1 to complete the training required to serve or face ejection, under a resolution the City Council will take up Tuesday.

Four Arrested in Catalytic Converter Theft
December 9, 2022 -- Four suspects were arrested for grand theft early Friday morning after stealing a catalytic converter from a Prius parked in the Pico Neighborhood.

Celebrate the Holidays Under the Miramar's Iconic Fig Tree Sunday
December 8, 2022 -- The Miramar Hotel is inviting residents and guests to spread the holiday cheer on Sunday at the annual "Meet Me Under The Fig Tree" holiday celebration.

Former Santa Monica Officials Win Big
December 8, 2022 -- Former Santa Monica City officials swept to easy victories in elections across LA County last month, while a major local political force saw mixed results.

Indoor Mask Mandate Could Return, Health Officials Warn
December 7, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases continued rising in Santa Monica, reflecting a Countywide trend that has prompted warnings from Public Health officials that indoor mask mandates could soon return.

Police Arrest Suspected Homeless Serial Robber
December 7, 2022 -- A homeless man who is a suspect in a series of local robberies was charged with two counts of robbery Tuesday after holding up an adult store on Santa Monica Boulevard, according to police.

Davis, Brock to Serve Year Each as Mayor
December 6, 2022 -- After a halting start and three quick rounds of voting, the City Council Tuesday night elected Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Phil Brock to serve one year each as mayor.

LETTERS -- Homeless Programs Are Political Payback
December 6, 2022 -- As it stands now in Santa Monica your $42.5 million homeless budget is essentially a jobs program for the loyalists who support the liberal left that you keep electing in the city.

Liberal Establishment Makes Comeback
December 5, 2022 -- It's official: Santa Monica's liberal establishment roared back in the November 8 races but fell one seat short of regaining power on the City Council after failing to unseat incumbent Lana Negrete.(Certified Results)

Electing Mayor Could be a Struggle
December 5, 2022 -- Tuesday night's vote for mayor could test the two-year-old Change coalition on the Council as two members are expected to vie for the mostly ceremonial post.

Suspect Charged in Officer Involved Shooting
December 2, 2022 -- LA County prosecutors on Thursday filed charges against an armed man shot by police after barricading himself in a Pico Neighborhood apartment with his robbery victims.

Poll Finds Attacks on Negrete Backfired
December 2, 2022 -- A hard-hitting campaign against Councilmember Lana Negrete may have backfired, helping to pave the way for her reelection, according to a recent push poll of Santa Monica residents.

City Spends More than $40 Million on Homelessness But Lacks Way to Gauge Progress
December 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica spends an estimated $42.5 million a year on homeless programs and services but lacks a specific plan and the data needed to gauge whether its efforts are paying off.

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