Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Few Qualify for Much Touted 'Right to Return' Program
March 31, 2023 -- A total of 11 applicants have qualified for Santa Monica's nationally publicized "Right to Return" program that gives priority for affordable housing to households displaced from the city's Black and Latino neighborhoods more than 60 years ago.

DMV Becomes State's Leading Voter Registration Source
March 30, 2023 -- A statewide automatic registration program implemented five years ago has quickly turned the DMV into the most commonly used vehicle for registering voters in California, according to a report released Thursday.

Event Celebrates 'The Godmother of Santa Monica'
March 30, 2023 -- Overshadowed in her lifetime by her two husbands, Arcadia Bandini arguably became more famous than both and put her permanent stamp on Santa Monica.

Battle Lines Drawn Over State Housing Bill
March 29, 2023 -- A State housing bill that would extend and expand a key "builder's remedy" provision tested in Santa Monica cleared its first hurdle last week as opponents prepare to mount a counter-attack at the ballot box.

SMC Presents 'Race Relay – Santa Monica'
March 29, 2023 -- A live, multimedia, interactive presentation at Santa Monica College (SMC) this week will explore the many faces of racism through personal stories and a community dialogue.

School District Spending More than $5 Million to Repair Rain-Damaged Buildings
March 28, 2023 -- Record-breaking rains have left School District officials scrambling to fix more than 110 existing leaks in waterlogged buildings, officials said in a letter this week.

Santa Monica Rents Rise After Declining 6 Months
March 28, 2023 -- Santa Monica rents rose for the first time in seven months, as the national rental market appears to be returning to conditions before the coronavirus shutdown, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report released Tuesday.

Council Takes Major Step to Meet State-Mandated Housing Quota
March 27, 2023 -- The City Council last week approved zoning changes to implement the City’s State-Certified Housing Element while attempting to preserve what is left of Santa Monica's seaside character.

Are You Prepared for a Tsunami?
March 27, 2023 -- If you feel the earth shake and hear the ocean roar, head inland or seek higher ground and follow the "Tsunami Evacuation Route" signs posted on roads near the coast.

Westside Food Bank Warns of 'Hunger Cliff'
March 24, 2023 -- With California poised at the edge of a "Hunger Cliff," the Westside Food Bank (WSFB) is bracing for a surge in the need for food starting next week, according to the Santa Monica-based non-profit.

New COVID Workplace Requirements Kick In
March 24, 2023 -- While Los Angeles County remained in the Low COVID-19 Community Level for the 10th consecutive week, workplaces -- including schools -- must adhere to new California OSHA requirements, Health officials said Friday.

Little Progress Moving Needle Exchange Program Indoors
March 23, 2023 -- More than six months after former Mayor Sue Himmelrich requested that the County move a program that hands out clean needles to drug users indoors, the effort has reached a standstill.

Council Approves Modified BBB Contract with SMC
March 23, 2023 -- With fewer in-person classes on campus, Santa Monica College (SMC) will pay less than half of its pre-pandemic cost for students, faculty and staff to ride the Big Blue Bus for free.

Majority of Council "Offended" By Street Vendor Discussion
March 22, 2023 -- A seemingly innocuous item on Tuesday's agenda calling for better communication with street vendors triggered a heated debate that managed to offend the majority of the City Council.

Police Bust Apparent Cell Phone Theft Ring
March 21, 2023 -- A missing phone ringing inside a car in the parking lot of a Main Street nightspot led police to more than 20 phones stolen by what appears to be an organized theft ring of Columbian nationals.

Loews Hotel, Union Reach Agreement for Laid Off Workers
March 21, 2023 -- The 320 hotel workers laid off for the renovation of the Loews Santa Monica Hotel will receive recall rights, free family health insurance and pension contributions during the expected nine-month closure, union officials announced Monday.

City Could Face Lawsuit Over New Gun Licensing Fee
March 20, 2023 -- A gun rights advocacy group is threatening to challenge Santa Monica's "ridiculous" concealed carry weapon (CCW) licensing fees, arguing they discourage residents from exercising their second amendment rights.

Two Stabbed in Early Morning Fight Sunday
March 20, 2023 -- Two victims were hospitalized with stab wounds after a fight broke out between two groups at the northern end of Palisades Park in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to police.

Flu Joins COVID in LA County This Season
March 17, 2023 -- There have been an estimated 540 flu-related deaths in Los Angeles County since October, with California experiencing the greatest number of per capita cases in the nation, according to the latest local and national health data.

Homeless Man Charged in Series of Sexual Assaults
March 17, 2023 -- A homeless man was charged Thursday with a series of nighttime sexual assaults on homeless women late last summer, including one in Santa Monica, according to police.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Why Homeless Knife Attacks Have Increased in Santa Monica
March 16, 2023 -- A dangerous mix of legal knives, illegal drugs and lenient State laws are likely driving a surge in stabbings among the homeless in Santa Monica, according to police.

Homeless Man Stabs City Worker in Palisades Park
March 16, 2023 -- A City worker was stabbed by a homeless man he tried to rouse from his sleep Wednesday morning in Palisades Park, according to police.

Council Sets Fees for Concealed Carry Weapon Licenses
March 15, 2023 -- Santa Monica residents will pay $617 for a concealed carry weapon (CCW) license after the LA County Sheriff's Department (LASD), which charged $150, stopped processing them for the city.

Santa Monica Review Celebrates 35th Year
March 15, 2023 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) literary journal celebrates its 35th anniversary with an eclectic issue that will be showcased at three events and a reading.

EXTRA -- After 7 Years, Voting Rights Lawsuit Could Be Decided Soon
March 14, 2023 -- Nearly two-and-a-half years after the California Supreme Court took up a 2016 voting rights lawsuit against the City, the closely watched case is likely coming to an end.

SMC Training Programs Win Exemplary Award
March 14, 2023 -- Two certified healthcare training programs at Santa Monica College (SMC) have been recognized as nationwide models by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET).

Council Creates Department to Focus on Housing and Homelessness
March 13, 2023 -- After once again declaring homelessness its top priority, the City Council on Saturday unanimously directed staff to create a new department and allocate new tax dollars to tackle the persistent problem.

Man Injured After Narrowly Escaping Motel Blaze
March 13, 2023 -- A man was hospitalized Saturday after "narrowly" escaping an early afternoon blaze at the Holiday Motel & Suites in Santa Monica, where he lived, Fire Department officials reported.

County Relaxes Coronavirus Guidelines
March 10, 2023 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica and LA County continued dropping as Public Health officials announced Monday the County will relax its guidelines to align with the State.

Homeless Man Charged with Attempted Murder in Hate Crime Attacks
March 10, 2023 -- A homeless man was charged with assault and attempted murder on Wednesday after attacking three Black victims with a metal pipe one week ago.

3 City Owned Parking Lots Earmarked for Affordable Housing
March 9, 2023 -- The City Council is poised to set aside three surface parking lots in the Mid-City Neighborhood for low-income housing, bringing Santa Monica a step closer to meeting its State-mandated housing goal.

War, Big Tech and Black Horror at SMC Literary Series
March 9, 2023 -- A rising Black author, an expert on "Tech Goliaths" and a top commander in the Gulf War are among the "noteworthy spectrum" of writers featured in Santa Monica College's (SMC) Literary Series this spring.

Electrification Roadmap Just a Start, City Officials Say
March 8, 2023 -- When the City released a "roadmap" to electrify existing buildings, the document -- touted in a press release -- caught many residents and property owners by surprise.

Police Seek Help Unraveling January Crash, Beating
March 8, 2023 -- Santa Monica police are trying to unravel the beating of a woman found in a crashed jeep in January who says she has no memory of what happened.

Crypto Ponzi Scheme Targets Local Latino Investors
March 7, 2023 -- A consumer alert issued by the City Tuesday warns that Latino households in Santa Monica are being targeted by a crypto Ponzi scheme at the center of a federal enforcement action.

City Revenues to Take Five Years to Recover
March 7, 2023 -- Santa Monica's economy is "showing signs of softening" and revenues are not expected to fully recover for another five years, according to a recent report to the City Council.

Transitioning to Electricity Could Cost Property Owners Up to $1 Billion
March 6, 2023 -- Given the age of Santa Monica's building stock, it will likely cost property owners between $500 million and $1 billion to electrify all existing buildings, according to a cost analysis by the City.

Health State of Emergency Ended With Little Fanfare
March 3, 2023 -- The coronavirus emergency declared by the State, County and City three years ago quietly terminated at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday without any official announcement that a landmark moment had been reached.

Construction of Nearly 700 Housing Units Kicks Off
March 2, 2023 -- Tishman Speyer broke ground Monday on a senior building that launches the initial phase of the "Santa Monica Collection" development, which in total will add 677 housing units at eight Downtown sites.

Police Arrest Motorcyclist Involved in Road Rage Robbery and Assault
March 2, 2023 -- Santa Monica detectives accompanied by SWAT officers arrested a man at his Compton home Thursday for an assault with a deadly weapon and robbery that took place during a road rage incident last summer, according to police.

SPECIAL REPORT -- City Report Weighs Pros and Cons of Driverless Cars
March 1, 2023 -- As the first entirely driverless car in LA County prepares to hit Santa Monica streets this month, the City's top transit official released a report on the local status of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

Monthly Poll Finds Strong Support for LA's "Inside Safe" Homeless Program
March 1, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents found the vast majority wants the City to follow Los Angeles' more "aggressive" approach to tackling homelessness.

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