Santa Monica Lookout
Friday, April 28, 2017
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Local Soda Tax Interests Santa Monica Commission, Council Seems Unreceptive
April 28, 2017 -- Santa Monica officials say the city is in desperate need of more money to fund parks creation and maintenance, and one idea to generate that cash is a soda tax.

Big Money Spent for Two Downtown Santa Monica Buildings
April 28, 2017 -- Major area property owner Douglas Emmett announced this week that the company has acquired two Downtown Santa Monica office buildings from the Blackstone Group for a combined $352.8 million.

One of Jupiter's Galilean Moons Multiple Moons on View at Santa Monica College Planetarium Next Month
April 28, 2017 -- If moons excite your curiosity, the Santa Monica College planetarium will showcase not only the early rising gibbous moon, but all four moons circling Jupiter next month.

Santa Monica City No-Cars Campaign Making Big Impression, Officials Say
April 27, 2017-- GoSaMo, the advertising blitz by the City of Santa Monica to ditch cars for alternative transportation, may have reached as many as 60 million people in its first year, officials said Tuesday.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Concept for Lincoln Streetscape Re-Design
Lincoln Boulevard Streetscape detail April 27, 2017--The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday approved a radically different streetscape for Lincoln Boulevard it hopes will made it safer for those using alternatives to driving on one the city’s most car-clogged thoroughfares.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Evacuated After Fire Suppression System Goes Off
April 27, 2017 -- Passengers aboard a Big Blue Bus that runs on Ocean Park Boulevard were evacuated Thursday morning after the bus' fire suppression system shut the engine down, Santa Monica transit officials said.

Proposed Santa Monica Hotels Offer Revenue Bounty
April 26, 2017 -- Money is tight these days at Santa Monica City Hall, but a huge bounty is potentially headed the City's way. Accessing it requires the City Council to approve three large mixed-use projects downtown that feature upscale hotels.

Officials Ground Proposal for Interim Replacement as SMO Runway is Shortened
April 26, 2017 -- A proposal to create a temporary runway for use at Santa Monica Airport while the existing one is shortened is being flagged as potentially unsafe and could be grounded for good.

Bach Score Santa Monica-Malibu School District Ranked Among Nation's Top Communities for Music
April 26, 2017
-- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) was one of two school districts in Los Angeles County to be recognized as one of the nation's best communities for music.

Battle Pits Slow-Growth Residents Against Big Hotels Slated for Downtown Santa Monica
April 25, 2017 -- (UPDATED) Slow-growth advocates see the three big luxury hotels proposed for downtown Santa Monica as towering massive structures that will erase what is left the City's quaint beach-town feel. Proponents and City officials, however, see them as sustainable economic engines that generate less traffic than housing or commercial development and will pump millions of dollars a year into the City's coffers.

City of Santa Monica Declares Wednesday “Denim Day”
April 25, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica is declaring Wednesday “Denim Day,” part of a growing nationwide campaign -- now in its 18th year -- to help prevent, and educate the public about, sexual violence.

Santa Monica High School Wins National Ocean Sciences Bowl
April 25, 2017 -- Students from Santa Monica High School took home the top prize this weekend in the 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), School District officials announced Monday.

Future Santa Monica Ballot Could Feature Parks-Funding Tax Measure
April 24, 2017 -- Santa Monica does not have enough parks, and there is not enough money in the budget to increase the number or to upgrade the existing ones. That is the current state of affairs, according to Karen Ginsberg, Santa Monica’s director of community and cultural services.

First Hearing on Santa Monica Downtown Community Plan Set for Wednesday
April 24, 2017 -- Expect a big crowd in Santa Monica City Council Chambers on Wednesday. That is when the Planning Commission will hold the first hearing on the Downtown Community Plan, a proposed document that sets the rules and vision for development in the area over the next 20 years.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Appoints New Director of Early Learning
Susan Samarge-Powell April 24, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board last week appointed Webster Elementary School principal Susan Samarge-Powell, a 21-year veteran of local schools, as the district's new director of early learning.

Uber-Like Helicopter Service May Be Walking Fine Line on Santa Monica Permitting Requirements
April 21, 2017 -- The outcry over the helicopter company Blade flying passengers from Santa Monica Airport to the Coachella music festival last week raises uncertain permitting issues similar to those swirling around the Uber rideshare services it is compared to.

Santa Monica Senator’s Environmental Literacy Bill Passes Key Committee
April 21, 2017 -- Legislation introduced by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) that would connect public schools with “community resources” to promote “high quality environmental literacy” in California passed the Senate’s Education Committee on Wednesday.

Santa Monica Library Presentation Offers Ways to Find Reliable Health Information Online
April 21, 2017 -- If you've sometimes wondered if the medical website you just visited is trustworthy, you may find some answers at a presentation next month at the Santa Monica Library.

Santa Monica-Malibu Split Likely to be Pulled from School Board Meeting
April 20, 2017 -- The hot topic of cost and other issues involving the split of Malibu from the Santa Monica-Malibu public school system is likely to be pulled from tonight’s agenda, officials announced late Wednesday.

Proposed Change Sparks Worries Over Lobbying Law for Santa Monica
April 20, 2017 -- City officials said they were only trying to clarify -- even strengthen -- a law designed to shine a bright light on the scores of paid lobbyists who jockey for influence at Santa Monica City Hall.

First Popeye comic Santa Monica Pier Seeks Volunteer Docents for Historical Tours
April 20, 2017 -- If you know that Popeye was born in a typhoon off of the Santa Monica Pier and are fascinated by local lore, you may consider becoming a volunteer docent and guide visitors through the rich history of the century-old landmark.

Santa Monica Watchdog Group Warns New Plan Primes Downtown for “Runaway” Building and Traffic
April 19, 2017 -- After years of alterations, the final City plan designed to guide new building in the heart of Santa Monica has left downtown primed for "runaway” development and traffic, a local watchdog group is warning.

Cautious Hope for Proposed Citizen Committee on Santa Monica City Employee Costs
April 19, 2017 -- Just a day after being recommended, a novel new City proposal for a citizen committee to help delve into high compensation for City of Santa Monica employees was already getting early reviews -- and an applicant -- on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Debate Team Takes Home Eight Awards
April 19, 2017 -- There's no arguing that Santa Monica College's Speech and Debate team is on a roll. The team won eight awards in six different events at the Phi Ro Pi national speech and debate tournament last week in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Helicopters Flying from Santa Monica Airport to Coachella Festival Spark New Controversy
April 18, 2017 -- The first helicopter whisking passengers from Santa Monica Airport to the 2017 Coachella festival hadn’t yet taken off when the demands to halt started landing in City Hall in-boxes.

Residents Committee Recommended to Examine High Cost of Santa Monica City Employee Compensation
April 18, 2017 -- Faced with rising complaints about salaries and benefits for Santa Monica City employees -- among the highest for California municipalities -- staff is recommending a temporary panel of residents be created to examine the contentious issue.

Science Comic Book Santa Monica Library Celebrates Comics Next Month
April 18, 2017 -- Comics books have entertained generations for more than a century and kids are still turning their pages well into the digital age. Beginning May 1, the Santa Monica Library will launch a week-long celebration of comic books that culminates May 6 with Free Comic Book Day, which has been celebrated on the first Saturday in May by comic book stores and libraries since 2002.

SPECIAL SERIES: How Rick Cole is Redefining the Role of City Manager
PART I: Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole Is 'Distinctly Different'
PART II: Critics Zero in on Santa Monica City Manager's Spending Priorities
PART III: Cole a Key Player as “New Urbanism” and Fears of Over-Development Clash in Santa Monica
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