Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

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

COVID Cases Reach Four Month High
May 31, 2022 -- Cornonavirus cases in Santa Monica continued rising last week, reaching the highest level in four months with no new virus-related deaths reported.

LETTERS -- Brock's Counter-Initiative Could Give Big Real Estate Investors Free Rein
May 31, 2022 -- Phil Brock, in his rush to seize the stage with a counter-initiative, may have abandoned his slow-growth constituency, writes former mayor Kevin McKeown.

Poll Finds Strong Support for Boosting Security Downtown
May 27, 2022 -- Santa Monica residents who participated in a push poll this month expressed strong support for Counclmember Phil Brock's get-tough approach to tackling Downtown's homeless problem.

Ed Foundation Wine Auction Raises Record $400,000
May 27, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation's first in-person wine auction in three years raised a record $400,000 for local schools this month, Foundation officials announced Friday.

EXTRA -- Brock Proposes Alternative to Mayor's "Outrageous" Transfer Tax
May 26, 2022 -- Councilmember Phil Brock proposed a transfer tax measure on Tuesday to counter what he called the "outrageous" measure Mayor Sue Himmelrich is trying to place on the November ballot.

SMC to Showcase Student Photos at Three Exhibits
May 26, 2022 -- Three photography exhibitions featuring the work of Santa Monica College (SMC) students in genres that include fine art, portraiture and still life will open next month, school officials announced Thursday.

School District Beefs Up Security in Wake of Texas School Shooting
May 25, 2022 -- The School District has heightened security at Santa Monica campuses in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday.

Council Names Park for Late Mayor Bob Holbrook
May 25, 2022 -- A small oval-shaped park near the heart of Santa Monica where the late Mayor Bob Holbrook played as a boy will be named in his honor.

OPINION -- Goose Egg Park?
It delighted me to hear the City Council voted to rename a city park for my friend, the late Councilmember Bob Holbrook. Delight soon turned to horror, as the residual English major in me regarded the symbolism: GOOSE EGG Park?

Weekly COVID Cases Surge in Santa Monica
May 24, 2022 -- The number of weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica surged to the highest level since January, while two virus related deaths were reported, according to County Health data.

Assemblymember Bloom to Address SMC's Graduating Class Next Month
May 24, 2022 -- State Assembleymember Richard Bloom -- a staunch champion of environmental causes -- will be the speaker at the Santa Monica College (SMC) 2022 Commencement Ceremony on June 16, school officials announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Rent Controlled Building Sells for Record $330 Million
May 23, 2022 -- The former Champagne Towers -- a half-century-old rent control apartment complex -- has sold for $330 million, making it the most expensive apartment sale in Santa Monica history.

Mayor's Transfer Tax Campaign to Submit Signatures Next Month
May 23, 2022 -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich said Monday that her campaign to dramatically boost Santa Monica's transfer tax on high-end real estate plans to submit signed ballot petitions to the City Clerk by mid-June.

Council Takes Yet Another Stab at Shortening Meetings
May 20, 2022 -- Santa Monica's City Council, which is scheduled to meet every other week, held 41 meetings last year, with many lasting into the early morning hours.

SMC Planetarium Explores Latest in Space Flight
May 20, 2022 -- Privately booked missions and how NASA tracks it spacecraft around the solar system are among the topics Santa Monica College’s (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium will focus on next month.

Planning Commission Gives Enthusiastic Thumbs Up to Gehry Project
May 19, 2022 -- With an enthusiasm seldom seen in a City whose populace is skeptical of major developments, the Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a 316,750-square-foot project on one of Santa Monica's most visible sites.

Santa Monica Picks Its Own to Head Library System
May 19, 2022 -- After searching nationwide, Santa Monica has tapped a veteran staff member to head its Library system as it emerges from the coronavirus shutdown.

LETTERS -- City Officials Should Work Around Obstacles, Not Use Them as Excuses
May 18, 2022 -- One Councilmember’s view of tackling Santa Monica's homeless problem was a refreshing contrast to the excuses, evasions, and blame-shifting offered by City officials.

SMC Student Film with Unusual Look at Women's Choice Headed to Cannes
May 18, 2022 -- A short Santa Monica College (SMC) student film that takes a head-on, complex look at women's choice will be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this month.

Shared Mobility Ridership Plummets During Pandemic
May 17, 2022 -- Santa Monica's efforts to encourage alternate modes of transportation were dealt a major blow during the coronavirus shutdown, according to a report released by the City last week.

SMC Performances Feature Jazz, Dance and a Staged Novel
May 17, 2022 -- Vocal and instrumental jazz, contemporary dance and the staged performance of an adventure classic will be presented this month at Santa Monica College (SMC).

Local COVID Cases Dip, Deaths Rise
May 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica saw coronavirus cases dip last week but reported three virus-related deaths, the most in a month, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

Santa Monica Revs Up for June Primaries
May 16, 2022 -- Once again, Santa Monica voters have multiple ways to cast ballots they received in the mail this month for Federal, State and County offices in the June 7 California primary.

Phillis Resigns from Santa Monica Rent Board
May 16, 2022 -- Rent Control Board member Nicole Phillis unexpectedly resigned Thursday night, bidding a tearful farewell six months before completing her final term.

Homeless to Be Given Priority for Low-Income Housing
May 12, 2022 -- The City Council on Wednesday green-lighted a plan to move those with emergency housing vouchers (EHV), most of them homeless, to the top of Santa Monica's waiting list for low-income housing.

Pier Waters Remain Under Health Advisory
May 12, 2022 -- The waters around the Santa Monica pier remained under a health advisory for high levels of bacteria, Los Angeles County Health officials said Thursday.

Santa Monica Hires Fresno City Attorney
May 11, 2022 -- Doug Sloan -- an avid cyclist and veteran lawyer who argued a landmark free-speech case before entering public service -- will be Santa Monica's new City Attorney.

Council Extends Zoning Law Allowing Businesses to Operate Outdoors
May 11, 2022 -- Santa Monica businesses can continue to operate outdoors after the City Council on Tuesday extended an interim zoning ordinance put in place to boost sales during the coronavirus emergency.

COVID Cases Continue Rising in Santa Monica
May 10, 2022 -- The number of local coronavirus cases continued climbing in Santa Monica with 615 cases confirmed over the past two weeks, although no new deaths were reported, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

Santa Monica Tourism on Road to Recovery, Industry Officials Say
May 10, 2022 -- Santa Monica's tourism industry is bouncing back from the coronavirus shutdown but must bring back international visitors before it can fully recover, tourism officials said at a summit last week.

City Attorney's Contract Has a Small Catch
May 9, 2022 -- The proposed $320,000-a-year contract for incoming City Attorney Douglas Sloan has plenty of perks. But one seemingly enticing benefit will do little good for the current Fresno City Manger, at least in Santa Monica.

Two Stabbed in Park Across from City Hall
May 9, 2022 -- Three juveniles and a 19-year old were arrested and two victims hospitalized after a fight over the theft of a cell phone broke out in Tongva Park Friday afternoon.

Man Charged with 2018 Killing Spree in Santa Monica Sentenced
May 6, 2022 -- A man was sentenced to 124 years to life in prison Friday immediately after pleading guilty to a spree of assaults on mostly homeless men in Santa Monica and Los Angeles in 2018 that left five dead and seven injured.

SMC Seeks Applicants to Bond Oversight Committee
May 6, 2022 -- Those who would like to serve on the the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for Santa Monica College (SMC) have until Friday, May 20, to submit an application.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Poised to Hire Fresno City Attorney to Fill Top Legal Post
May 5, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to hire Fresno City Attorney Douglas Sloan as its top lawyer. Sloan -- who has served as Fresno's chief counsel since 2013 -- would assume the post on June 22.

Santa Monica's Homeless Population Drops During COVID
May 5, 2022 -- Santa Monica's homeless population dropped by 100 --from 907 to 807 -- over the past two years, but the number of those living on the streets has remained flat, according to the results of the 2022 homeless count.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Two Homeless Persons a Month Die in Santa Monica
May 4, 2022 -- Nine homeless people died on Santa Monica's sidewalks. Five were found dead in parks and four on the beach. Another four died in their vehicles. They were among the 54 homeless persons who died in the affluent coastal city over the past two years.

Santa Monica Pier Under County Advisory
May 4, 2022 -- The Santa Monica pier is once again under a health advisory for high levels of bacteria issued by Los Angeles County Health officials Wednesday night.

Missing Men Lost and Found in Santa Monica
May 3, 2022 -- Los Angeles Police on Tuesday asked the public for help finding a man missing since last November who was last seen in Santa Monica. The request came one day after Santa Monica police found a man missing since September 2020.

Amazon Makes Big Move in Santa Monica
May 3, 2022 -- Amazon is poised to become one of Santa Monica's largest employers after signing a lease that will bring more than 1,000 high-paying jobs to the City starting next year.

Brock Calls for Get-Tough Approach to Promenade's Homeless Problem
May 2, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Councilmember Phil Brock on Sunday called for replacing Downtown "safety" ambassadors with security guards and providing round-the-clock police patrols to clean up the Promenade.

Gas Leak Near Promenade Prompts Evacuation
May 2, 2022 -- A major gas leak shut down a two-block stretch of the Promenade for four hours late Monday afternoon as Southern California Gas Company crews worked to repair the gas main break.

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