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Last Update: Friday, August 22, 2014
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Downtown Santa Monica Touts Success at Annual Meeting
August 22, 2014 -- Downtown Santa Monica is thriving, and with visitors spending at record levels, office occupancy at an all-time high, housing booming, bike lanes being added and a train fast approaching, the City’s central business district is entering a new phase 25 years after the Promenade was launched.

Santa Monica Airport Foe Fights Legal Setback
August 22, 2014 -- A Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a decision Tuesday that will keep a measure backed by aviation interests on the November ballot. But the attorney for a faction of the anti-Santa Monica Airport movement that filed a lawsuit to remove the measure is not waving the white flag.

Santa Monica Quilt Guild Hosts Exhibit
August 22, 2014 -- Some may be surprised to learn that Santa Monica has a quilting club whose members meet monthly to share their own stories with every stitch and design. 

Santa Monicans Get Chance to Weigh in on Arts Center’s Future Saturday
August 21, 2014 – Proponents of redeveloping Santa Monica’s art center believe it will revitalize an aging complex in time for the arrival of the Expo Light Rail. Opponents counter that it will rob the area of its character and draw too many cars.

Changes Could Come to Preferential Parking Rules
August 21, 2014 -- While many residents say the City’s preferential parking policy is essential to secure a space for their vehicles, several complaints have been made about the program that has seen few adjustments since it was created in 1980.

Zombie Attack at the Santa Monica Pier
August 21, 2014 – Classic rock fans will get a special treat when The Zombies take the stage at the summer’s seventh Twilight concert on Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Editorial - The Bergamot Arts Complex…. It’s not too late to get it right
August 21, 2014 -- The train is coming!  In less than two years, the Expo Line will arrive in Santa Monica.  While the Expo Station will be ready on time, the adjacent Bergamot Arts Complex likely will not. This delay, however, should not give the City reason to rush into a project that lacks vision and contains many unresolved issues. 

ASLA Ice Water Challenge Spreads to Santa Monica City Council
August 20, 2014 – Santa Monica City Council candidates are being given a choice -- dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate $100 to fight a crippling disease.

Velellas Invade Santa Monica Beach
August 20, 2014 – Strange saucer-like creatures with bright blue bodies and transparent sails have started washing up on the shores of Santa Monica Beach, part of a colony of tiny hydroids working together to create a single organism.

Airport Rivals Debate Meaning of Voter Approval
August 20, 2014 -- There is no dispute the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association-backed ballot proposal, now known as Measure D, calls for a requirement of voter approval to make most changes at Santa Monica Airport, including closure. What is disputed is the meaning of “voter approval.”

Santa Monica City Council Ballot Set
August 19, 2014 – Fourteen of the original 18 individuals who pulled papers to run for Santa Monica City Council have officially qualified for November’s ballot, according to the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office.

Santa Monica Airport Foes File Second Lawsuit
August 19, 2014 – Eight anti-airport activists filed a second lawsuit Friday in an effort to ground a ballot measure that would require voters to approve any change of use at Santa Monica’s century-old airport.

Settlement Reached on Ballot Argument Signature Dispute
August 19, 2014 -- City Clerk Sarah Gorman has agreed to remove two signatures from an argument that will appear on Santa Monica's November ballot in exchange for anti-tax activist Mathew Millen withdrawing his lawsuit against the City.

Candidates Set for School Board Races
August 18, 2014 -- For the first time in six years, the November election will feature competitive contests for both school boards in Santa Monica. There are seven candidates competing for four seats in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). Six people are in the contest for four Santa Monica College (SMC) seats.

Council Approves $6 Million Budget for Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
August 18, 2014 – One month before the Santa Monica Promenade celebrates its 25th anniversary, the City Council approved a $6 million budget for the agency that runs the thriving strip.

Santa Monica Property Owners to Pay Less for Library Bond
August 18, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council last week unanimously approved lowering the property tax rates used to pay for a 2002 library renovation bond.

Anti-Tax Activist Wants Argument Removed from Ballot
August 15, 2014 -- Long-time Santa Monica tax opponent Mathew Millen filed a lawsuit earlier this week in an attempt to get an argument in favor of the real estate tax hike measure removed from the November ballot. He says the argument was submitted illegally.

Santa Monica City Employee to Become A French Knight
August 15, 2014 – The City of Santa Monica will soon be employing a French Knight as its Cultural Affairs Manager.

Santa Monica Council Approves $2.3 Million in Expenditures
August 15, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved more than $2.3 million in expenses Tuesday, including funding for treat water, update buses and remove graffiti.

Review - Humor Highlights Poetry Reading at Santa Monica’s Annenberg Beach House
August 15, 2014 – With his suspenders and red St. Louis cap, William Trowbridge looks more like the owner of a Midwestern hardware store than a poet.

Santa Monica Clamps Down on Water Use
August 14, 2014 – The Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to approve tougher restrictions on water use during Tuesday’s council meeting, initiating Stage 2 of the City’s Water Shortage Response Plan.

Status of Santa Monica Airport ‘Will Take Years to Sort out,’ City Attorney Says
August 14, 2014 -- Closure of Santa Monica Airport will happen only after a long legal battle, and nothing can be done to reduce the length, City Attorney Marsha Moutrie told the City Council on Tuesday.

La Santa Cecilia Set to Rock the Santa Monica Pier
August 14, 2014 –Latin Rock – or as it is more popularly known, Rock en Español –will take over the Santa Monica Pier Thursday when Grammy-award-winning La Santa Cecilia hits the stage for the summer’s sixth Twilight concert.

Letter - Registration Fee Unfair to Elderly Landlords
August 14, 2014 – Elderly landlords who own rent-control apartments will feel the burden of the increased registration fees being proposed.

Santa Monica Site Helps Those Battling Severe Depression
August 13, 2014 – Those looking for answers after comedian Robin Williams took his life Monday during a bout with severe depression might find some understanding on a website launched 15 years ago in Santa Monica.

Rivals Argue Whether Financial Urgency Exists Justifying Santa Monica Rent Control Measure
August 13, 2014 -- Proponents of a Santa Monica ballot measure calling for hiking the landlord registration fee say its approval will bring much-needed money to the Rent Control Board. Opponents argue the proposal is for a “huge tax increase to compensate overpaid government bureaucrats.”

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park Offers the Sounds of Persia
August 13, 2014 – The latest addition to the Santa Monica Parks system will be offering a free concert this month featuring Persian and world music as part of its first season of cultural programming.

Santa Monica Group’s Endorsements Spark Community Debate
August 12, 2014 – The decision made by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) to support only two candidates for City Council has raised speculation both about possibly supporting a third candidate and whether the group had an ulterior political motive.

O’Connor Faces Tough Re-Election Bid Without SMRR Support
August 12, 2014 -- If Mayor Pam O’Connor does a victory dance on Election Day in November, she will have completed a feat matched by only one other person since Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) reclaimed the City Council majority in 1988.

Santa Monica Activists Plan Vigil for Mural
August 12, 2014 – Santa Monica activists are encouraging the public to attend a public vigil next month to save the Muir Woods Mural that has graced an exterior wall of Olympic High School for nearly four decades.

SMRR Backs McKeown, Kennedy for Santa Monica City Council
August 11, 2014 -- Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights’ old guard sent a strong message to the city’s newer political groups Saturday  when its steering  committee endorsed long-time stalwarts City Councilman Kevin McKeown and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy for City Council. Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Residocracy endorsed Richard McKinnon. Residocracy has not made any endorsements.

Bob Holbrook Leaves Behind 24-Year Legacy for Santa Monica
August 11, 2014 -- Having served on the Santa Monica City Council for 24 years with 17 different colleagues, Bob Holbrook has the distinction of being the longest-serving elected official in Santa Monica history.

Flight Schools Could Face Greater Restrictions at Santa Monica Airport
August 11, 2014 -- Use of quieter aircraft and accepting limitations on when flying can take place could be requirements for flight schools and clubs to operate at Santa Monica Airport. The City Council will consider these rules Tuesday when it votes on new lease guidelines for businesses operating on the City-owned property.

Review - Cooking Classes Inspire Confidence to Try Something New
August 11, 2014 -- Item number three on my bucket list was to bake a pie. With item one to get married and item two to have a baby, the pie was an easier challenge, thanks to a great baking class.

Santa Monicans Targeted in Scam Operations
August 11, 2014 -- Three Santa Monica residents have fallen victim to an over-the-phone scam operation, leading police to issue a warning.

Bob Holbrook Will Not Seek Seventh City Council Term
August 8, 2014 -- After a record 24 years on the Santa Monica City Council, Bob Holbrook has decided this term is his final one and he will not run in the November election, the council member told the Lookout News Thursday.

Rivals Trade Accusations of Deception in Airport Ballot Battle
August 8, 2014 -- Power to the people and don’t be misled by the tricks of the other side is the battlecry for both ends of the Santa Monica Airport debate appearing in arguments for and against the two ballot measures that will go before voters in November.

Pixar President Shares Management Philosophy in Santa Monica
August 8, 2014 -- Good people are more important than good ideas, Ed Catmull, co-founder and president of Pixar and president of Disney Animation Studios told a crowd of some 250 gathered in Downtown Santa Monica Tuesday.

Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint
August 8, 2014 -- Santa Monica Police will conduct a checkpoint Aug. 16 to identify and remove motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or without a valid driver’s license.

Santa Monica Opens Low-Income Apartments by the Sea
August 7, 2014 – The largest affordable housing development financed by the City of Santa Monica and the last installment in the $350 million Civic Center Village project held its grand opening last week, and already its fully occupied.

Santa Monica College Grad Makes Leap to Ivy League
August 7, 2014
-- Until she saw the return address from the Ivy League university, Santa Monica College graduate Grace Sandoval almost mistook a FedEx envelope with her acceptance letter as an exercise DVD she had ordered

Australia Invades the Santa Monica Pier
August 7, 2014 – Koalas, Dingoes and Kangaroos may not literally be at the Santa Monica Pier Thursday, but the music from The Land Down Under will.  A trio of Australian musical acts will take the stage at the Twilight Concert Series’ 5th annual “Australia Rocks the Pier” concert.

Santa Monica Candidates File Papers as Deadline Nears
August 6, 2014 – With Friday’s deadline looming, seven of the 17 potential City Council candidates – five of them slow-growth advocates -- have officially filed nomination papers, according to the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office.

Santa Monica School Board Member Allen Ahead of Fluke in Fundraising
August 6, 2014 – Two months after placing first in the June Primary for State Senate for District 26, Santa Monica School Board member Ben Allen is outpacing activist Sandra Fluke in the race to raise funds.

Authors Demystify Mystery Writing at Santa Monica Public Library
August 6, 2014 – It was Mr. Mustard in the library with a knife after all. So why didn’t we see it coming until the end?

Letters- SMRR Members Weigh In On Sunday’s Convention
August 6, 2014 -- Santa Monicans for Renters Rights’ (SMRR) steering committee member will recuse herself.  Slow growthers didn’t split the vote.  Leadership should have allowed a third ballot.

Election Players and Observers Wait on SMRR Steering Committee
August 5, 2014 – While hundreds of people voted on endorsements at the Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) convention on Sunday, fewer than 10 could determine the powerful and influential group’s entire City Council slate for the November election.

SMRR Supports Four of the Five Ballot Initiatives
August 5, 2014Members of the powerful and influential Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR) voted at the group's convention Sunday to support four November ballot measures and oppose an initiative that would require voter approval of all changes to airport land.

Santa Monica Library Offers Free Streaming Services
August 5, 2014 – Santa Monica Public Library card holders can now access thousands of movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks on smartphones and home computers, officials announced on Monday.

SMRR Fails to Back Santa Monica Council Candidates
August 4, 2014 -- For the first time in nearly four decades, the city's most powerful political organization, Santa Monicans for Renter's Rights (SMRR), failed to endorse a City Council candidate at its convention Sunday.

SMRR Endorses Incumbents in Santa Monica School, College Board Races
August 4 2014 -- All but two of the incumbents in the races for School and College boards won the support of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) at the powerful group’s convention Sunday.

Santa Monica Library Presents Classical Guitar Concert
August 4, 2014 -- Guitarist Josh Moore will tap the standard classical guitar repertoire when he takes the stage this month at the Santa Monica Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium.

City Manager Announces His Resignation
August 1, 2014 -- Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould, who has been the target of months of criticism by slow growth advocates, announced Friday that he will step down at the end of January.

Shriver Outpaces Kuehl in Runoff Fundraising Race
August 1, 2014 – Six weeks after finishing second in June’s primary election for LA County Supervisor, former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver has raised almost $300,000, nearly twice the amount raised by his rival, former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl. This article has been corrected

Future of Santa Monica Politics Could Be Determined at SMRR Convention
August 1, 2014 -- School board member and leading Pico Neighborhood activist Oscar de la Torre denied a media report from earlier in the week that he is part of a voting bloc focused on getting Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) endorsements for candidates who promise to oust City Manager Rod Gould.

Downtown Santa Monica Announces Top Management Changes
August 1, 2014 – As it prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Third Street Promenade in September, the agency that runs the thriving strip announced on Thursday the promotion and hiring of three top officials.

SMRR Endorsees Rarely Lose in Santa Monica Elections
July 31, 2014 -- Election Day in Santa Monica is three months away, but the results could be settled this Sunday when the powerful political group Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) makes its endorsements at the convention taking place at John Adams Middle School.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus to Change Routes and Schedules
July 31, 2014 –Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus this week announced changes to two of its most popular lines in order to improve service by splitting routes, discontinuing stops and switching drivers more often.

Syrian Artist Headlines Thursday Santa Monica Twilight Concert
July 31, 2014 – Syrian folk electronica artist Omar Souleyman – whose sound changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East – will headline the summer’s fourth Twilight Concert Thursday on the Santa Monica Pier.

Council Candidates Face Tough Questions at Slow-Growth Forum
July 30, 2014 -- In the first candidates forum of the 2014 election season, 13 people running for three seats on the City Council answered numerous questions Monday night from the slow-growth group Residocracy concerning controversial topics such as development and pony rides.

City Officials and Community Members Differ on Park Program’s Effectiveness
July 30, 2014 -- A 2013 Santa Monica ordinance regulating commercial fitness and athletic classes or camps is being viewed by City officials as a successful way to reduce impact on public space and creating a better balance of park and beach uses, according to a July 24 report to the City Council.

Carr Ahead of Lieu in Fundraising for Congressional Race
July 30, 2014 --In the contest to replace U.S. Congressman and Democratic stalwart Henry Waxman, Republican attorney Elan Carr is attracting money from all over the country as he battles against Democrat and front-runner state Sen. Ted Lieu to represent the district that includes Santa Monica.

Airport Supporters Raise Over $260,000 for Ballot Battle
July 29, 2014 -- Supporters of a ballot measure that, if approved, would limit City Council control of the Santa Monica Airport have hit the ground running by raising more than a quarter of a million dollars for their campaign, according to a disclosure statement filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Political Groups Undergo Endorsement Process
July 29, 2014 -- Major Santa Monica political groups are determining this week who to support in the November election. UNITE HERE Local 11 and Santa Monicans for Renter's Rights (SMRR) are interviewing candidates. Residocracy held a candidates forum Monday evening.

Tour da Arts’ Combines Diversity in Art with Cycling
July 29, 2014 -- More than 100 cyclists of all ages have pre-registered to explore art, music and theatre at the sixth annual Tour da Arts. It is a free nine-mile bike ride hosted by the Santa Monica Museum of Modern Art that will take place Aug. 24 at noon.

Santa Monica Council Extends Interim Zoning Ordinance
July 28, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday extended for another year the Interim Zoning Ordinance (IZO) approved in 2011 while the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) ordinance is completed.

Santa Monica to Transfer Property for Affordable Housing
July 28, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council unanimously supported the transfer of ownership of two currently occupied, City-owned apartment buildings to competing nonprofit affordable housing organizations during its Thursday meeting.

Explore Ray Bradbury’s Vast Universe of Knowledge at the Santa Monica Public Library  
July 28, 2014 -- Colonization, illegal immigration and the clash of cultures. These are not only current hot-button issues, they’re themes explored by Ray Bradbury in his science fiction stories.

Santa Monica Tax Hike Opponents Say Measure Will Lead to Massive Development
July 25, 2014 -- Is the real estate tax increase proposal on the November ballot an opportunity to fund affordable housing programs in Santa Monica, or is it a contrived attempt at “over-development”?

Gang Member Convicted in Santa Monica Murders to Spend Life in Prison
July 25, 2014 --  Convicted killer William Vasquez will have to spend the rest of his life in prison after the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied to review the case against him for the murder of five victims, including two in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Pier to Offer Historical Walking Tours
July 25, 2014 -- Q: What do Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Muscle Beach and Popeye have in common? A: The Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Voters to Choose Between Competing Airport Ballot Measures
July 24, 2014 – After hearing from 20 members of the public, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to place competing measures prescribing the future of the Airport on the November ballot during its meeting Tuesday.

New Software to Make Santa Monica Data Easier to Access
July 24, 2014 -- Starting next month, the City of Santa Monica will launch new software that allows users to pinpoint everything from crime on their blocks to projects that will improve their streets.

Santa Monica Natives to Headline Thursday Twilight Concert
July 24, 2014 – Santa Monica’s own indie beach rock band Cayucas will be co-headlining the third concert in Santa Monica’s 30th annual Twilight Concert series Thursday on the Santa Monica Pier. The LA-based group Papa will open the concert at 7 p.m..

Review -- Art Comes Alive at the Pageant of the Masters
July 24, 2014 -- The stage went black, and when the lights flashed back on, George Washington appeared two dimensional. The actor portraying the first president became a still art piece.

Former County Supervisor Candidate Calls Democratic Club Un-Democratic
July 23, 2013 -- Pamela Conley Ulich might have been forced out of the county supervisor race when she failed to become one of the top two vote-getters in last month’s primary election, but the former Malibu mayor is not staying quiet about the contest.

Santa Monica Gets $2 million Grant for New Park
July 23, 2014 -- Santa Monica's Community and Cultural Services Department announced on Tuesday that the City has received a $2.1 million grant to build a park near the new Expo Rail line

Santa Monica Approves $9 million Consent Calendar
July 23, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved more than $9 million in expenses Tuesday, including funding to repave roads and install new elevators in public parking structures.


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