Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Big Blue Bus Hits Major Hump, Report Says
October 31, 2022 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) has hit a major hump in its efforts to return ridership to levels reached before the coronavirus shutdown, according to a report released last week.

Botched Robbery Leads to Two Arrests
October 31, 2022 -- The incident took place at around 9:30 p.m. at the 7-11 store near Pico and Lincoln boulevards, where officers responded to a report of shots fired, police said.

LETTERS -- Missing the Point
October 31, 2022 -- False accusatiions by the Democratic Club are marginalizing those within the party and creating division along racial lines.

School District, Malibu Agree to Separation 'Framework'
October 28, 2022 -- In what was quickly called both "a historic moment" and a "politically suspect move," the School District and City of Malibu unveiled a "framework" on Friday to move towards separation.

Most Undecided Voters Have Made Up Their Minds in Council Race, Poll Finds
October 28, 2022 -- A recent push poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with public safety found 20 percent had not decided which City Council candidates to support, down from 50 percent two months ago.

Council Race Could See Last-Ditch Spending Spree
October 27, 2022 -- As the hotly contested race for City Council entered the homestretch this week, seven candidates and the PACs that support them still had more than $400,000 left to spend.

LETTERS -- Stop Throwing Stones
October 27, 2022 -- Perhaps Maria Loya should be more cautious about accusing others of fomenting racial injustice and falsehoods, writes CEPS co-chair Nicole Faries.

City Takes Steps to Fight 'Builder's Remedy' Projects
October 26, 2022 -- The City of Santa Monica has hired an attorney to help fend off a flurry of development proposals rushed under an obscure State law this month, top City officials said Monday.

Santa Monica Alzheimer's Walk Raises $122,000
October 26, 2022 -- More than 400 Westside residents helped raise more than $122,000 during at this year's Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday.

LETTERS -- School District Hid Court Case That Led to $45 Million Award
October 26, 2022 -- The School District seems to have gone to great lengths to conceal from the public the existence of a lawsuit filed by autistic twins three years ago.

Police Investigate Two Stabbings Downtown
October 25, 2022 -- Two men were stabbed in Downtown Santa Monica Monday night, and police are investigating if the incidents are related, according to police.

COVID Cases Rise in Santa Monica
October 25, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica rose by 22 last week, while the number of virus-related deaths remained steady for the third week in a row, according to LA County Health data.

Council to Continue Tweaking Lobbying Law
October 24, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to further revise a lobbying law it spent "many months" tweaking in 2015 and 2016 before approving a compromise version.

Two Homeless Suspects Arrested After Police Chase
October 24, 2022 -- Two homeless men suspected of trying to burglarize a home in Sunset Park were arrested early Sunday morning after a brief police chase, according to Santa Monica police.

OPINION -- Follow the Money – Santa Monica Ballot Measures
October 24, 2022 -- The Transparency Project has reviewed the money behind the ballot measures’ messages which are spending significant funds to influence your vote.

2022 City Council Candidate Pop Quiz
Lana Negrete Natalya Zernitskaya Samantha Mota
Ellis Raskin  Troy Harris   Caroline Torosis  
Albin Gielicz   Armen Melkonians  Jesse Zwick
Whitney Bain   Jon Mann

LETTERS -- Who Are the Real Right-Wing Conservatives in Santa Monica?
October 21, 2022 -- The all-white slates backed by the hotel workers union, Democratic Club and SMRR oppose minority voting rights, stay silent on historic racial injustices and campaign using falsehoods against real progressive Democrats of color.

EXTRA -- Jury Awards Autistic Twins $45 Million in Case Against SMMUSD
October 20, 2022 -- A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Thursday awarded $45 million to two autistic School District students who the jury unanimously found were abused with corporeal punishment by a behavioral aid.

Council Race Realigning Santa Monica's Political Forces
October 20, 2022 -- Santa Monica voters are being inundated with a wave of mailers and electronic ads in a hotly contested City Council race that has unearthed old rivalries and realigned the city's political forces.

LETTERS -- Stop the Miamification of Santa Monica
October 19, 2022 -- If Santa Monica won’t put up a fight against developers gaming the system, Councilmembers should go back to their day jobs full time and the administrators should be replaced.

LA County Pushes Booster Shots for Children, Bucking International Trend
October 18, 2022 -- As COVID cases continue to drop in Santa Monica and across LA County, public health officials are recommending new booster shots for children, a policy increasingly opposed by European governments.

LETTERS -- Clear Warnings Council Could Lose Local Control Over Development
October 18, 2022 -- Is it too much to ask of our elected officials that they take responsibility for their errors instead of pointing fingers at others? writes former Mayor Ted Winterer.

Slow-Growth Group Advises City to Fight 'Developer Ambush'
October 17, 2022 -- Santa Monica's leading slow-growth group advised the City on Monday to immediately address the "developer ambush" mounted shortly before its housing plan was approved by the State on Friday.

LETTERS -- Making Noise for Nothing
October 17, 2022 -- The pilot who worries about LAX jet noise flies her noisy Grumman piston-propeller plane a few hundred feet over thousands of homes -- for fun.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Housing Plan Delays Led to Loss of Local Control
October 14, 2022 -- After nearly three years in the works, State officials on Friday certified Santa Monica's Housing Element -- but not before 16 projects totaling more than 4,500 units were rushed into the planning pipeline.

Traffic Safety Grant Boosts Enforcement Efforts
October 14, 2022 -- More Santa Monica traffic officers will be patrolling Santa Monica after the Police Department received a $290,000 grant from the State.

City Officials Caught Off Guard by Flurry of Development Submissions
October 13, 2022 -- Santa Monica's biggest housing provider has rushed plans into the City's development pipeline to build more than 4,000 units that require little public input, dealing a massive blow to local slow-growth activists who were caught off guard by the move.

Santa Monica Review Probes Childhood Memories
October 13, 2022 -- Childhood memories and their lasting emotions imbue the stories published in the fall 2022 issue of Santa Monica College's (SMC) literary review.

LETTERS -- The Time for Police Policing Themselves Is Over
October 13, 2022 -- If the police are not engaged in unlawful or unethical behavior, then they should not worry about oversight, writes Police Reform Commission member Jaime S. Cruz.

Council Makes Business Zoning Changes Permanent
October 12, 2022 -- It took a two-and-a-half-year-long pandemic for Santa Monica to permanently ease zoning restrictions that have long frustrated businesses seeking a change of use.

Santa Monica Household Expenses Among Highest in the Nation, Report Finds
October 11, 2022 -- When it comes to average household expenses, Santa Monica ranked among the top ten California cities with the highest monthly bills, making it among the costliest cities in the nation, according to a report released this month.

Hotel Workers Union Steps Up Attacks
October 10, 2022 -- The hotel workers union has escalated -- and expanded -- what is likely the hardest-hitting campaign to unseat a City Council incumbent in nearly three decades.

New State Law, Santa Monica Transfer Tax Measure Shoot for Same Goal
October 7, 2022 -- Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an affordable housing law that does for Los Angeles County what Mayor Sue Himmelrich's proposed transfer tax increase would do for Santa Monica.

Local Sales Tax Revenue Sees 'Robust' Increase
October 6, 2022 -- The auto industry is driving Santa Monica's economic recovery, accounting for 16 of the city's 27 top sales tax generators, according to the latest financial data from the City.

OPINION -- Police Reform Commission Members Should Do Their Jobs
October 6, 2022 -- Members of the Police Reform Commission are required to complete training conducted by the Police Department but some have simply refused to do it, the police union writes.

Council Expected to Continue Hybrid Meetings
October 5, 2022 -- The City Council will likely take a cautious approach to COVID despite steadily dwindling cases by continuing to hold meetings that can be attended in-person or online.

School Board Slate Rally Targets Muir Closure
October 5, 2022 -- The abrupt closure of John Muir Elementary School this summer due to mold and water damage has become a flash point in the November 8 race for four School Board seats.

OPINION --- Superintendent’s Message: Muir/SMASH Campus Update
October 5, 2022 -- There will be a renewed and restored neighborhood school once the necessary work is done on the affected buildings, writes Superintendent Ben Drati.

Most Voters Undecided in Council Race, Poll Finds
October 4, 2022 -- One month before the November 8 race for three City Council seats, a text poll of residents concerned with crime and safety found most have not decided who they will support.

OPINION -- Toss Slate Mailers and Cards
October 4, 2022 -- Slate mailer/card organizations are not about vetting candidates or ballot measures and are not endorsements by any recognized organization, warns the Santa Monica Transparency Project.

EXTRA -- Special Interests Are Major Players in Council Race
October 3, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Special interest groups will have a major impact on the November 8 City Council race, with one union spending as much to target a single candidate as all eleven candidates have spent combined.

City Poised to Ticket Vehicles Parked on 'Parkways' and 'Driveway Aprons'
October 3, 2022 -- After a 30-day warning period, the City of Santa Monica will begin ticketing vehicles on November 1 that are parked outside of a driveway or roadway, officials announced last week.

OPINION -- City Mum on Plans to Reroute LAX Jet Traffic Over Santa Monica
October 3, 2022 -- The City Council has needlessly placed 719 additional Santa Monica households at risk of commercial jumbo jet noise with its misplaced political considerations, writes attorney and pilot Eve Lopez.

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