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Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- MAY 2019

County, Los Angeles Homeless Rate Rises Faster Than in Santa Monica
June 4, 2019 -- Los Angeles County's homeless population grew at a faster rate than Santa Monica's, with LA's population rising by four times the beach city's rate.

City Council to Take Up Belt-Tightening Budget Wednesday
June 4 , 2019 -- Santa Monica City Hall is tightening its fiscal belt under a proposed biennial budget the City Council will consider Wednesday that slashes spending and begins paying down a rapidly growing pension debt.

Speculators Turning Small Santa Monica Rent Control Properties Into Single-Family Homes, Report Says
June 3, 2019 -- As Santa Monica real estate prices skyrocket, speculators are rushing to convert small rent control buildings into single family homes, according to a study released by the City last week.

OPINION -- Harvey Milk's Challenge to Renovate the Spirit of the City Still Resonates
June 3, 2019 -- Harvey Milk’s unique brand of empathetic politics is a shining example of putting people first and a legacy worthy of pride, writes City Manager Rick Cole.

Santa Monica Among Nation's Costliest Cities to Rent a Newer Apartment
May 30, 2019 -- Santa Monica is among the top six costliest cities in the nation to rent a newer apartment, although when it comes to studios, two neighboring areas rank higher, according to a report by ApartmentGuide released Thursday.

Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill to Curb Use of Plastics Clears Senate
May 31, 2019 -- The State Senate on Thursday passed a bill sponsored by Santa Monica Sen. Ben Allen that would phase out the sale and distribution of single-use plastics by 2030.

OPINION -- Local 11 May Throw a Wrench into the City's Climate Action Plan
One of the state’s most self-proclaimed progressive labor unions could help undermine Santa Monica's Climate Action Plan, says the Center for Union Facts.

Santa Monica Adopts $800 Million Plan to Fight Climate Change
May 29, 2019 -- Santa Monica Tuesday night embarked on an $800 million 10-year plan to fight climate change that is likely the most costly and ambitious initiative of its kind for a city its size in the nation.

City Officials Propose Trims to Community Programs
May 29, 2019 -- Santa Monica will likely tighten its belt by scaling back or eliminating underused programs at community centers, swimming pools and schools, City officials said Wednesday.

Police Impound E-Mini Bikes, Stop E-Vehicle Riders on Beach Bike Path
May 28, 2019 -- Santa Monica police impounded nearly three dozen e-bikes and pulled over more than 150 riders of e-vehicles illegally using the beach bike path Friday afternoon.

Iconic Santa Monica Beach Mural Will Soon Be Removed
May 28, 2019 -- An iconic half-century old mural that has become emblematic of Santa Monica's laid-back beach culture will be removed soon under a settlement between the owner and the City. community.

National Designation for Historic Black Beach Takes Major Step Forward
May 28, 2019 -- Those who gather to celebrate Nick Gabaldón Day in Santa Monica on Saturday will be enjoying a stretch of sand at the end of Pico Boulevard that could soon be recognized as a national historic site.

Santa Monica Celebrates Memorial Day
May 24, 20019 -- Santa Monica will celebrates Memorial Day weekend the traditional way -- with food, music and a ceremonial salute at the city's historic Woodlawn Cemetery.

Man Dies After Suspected Swimming Accident at Santa Monica Beach
May 23, 2019 -- A man died on the shore north of the Pier Thursday morning after what authorities describe as a swim-related accident.

Santa Monica Wins Award for Its Wellbeing Index
May 23, 2019 -- Santa Monica was the only U.S. city to win the first NewCities award for wellbeing, a concept officials have been incorporating into local policies and trying to explain to residents.

OPINION -- Santa Monica Should Proceed With Caution on Hotel Ordinance
May 23, 2019 -- It would be tragic if a new law intended to make workers more secure instead left them with less income, say the authors of a study of Santa Monica's proposed hotel ordinance.

SPECIAL REPORT Santa Monica Crime Continues Dropping, Mirroring Los Angeles City Trend
May 22, 2019 -- Serious crime in Santa Monica dropped by 3.2 percent during the first quarter of this year, and it has continued dropping in April and May, according to data provided by the Santa Monica Police Department.

Man Arrested After Standoff with Santa Monica Police Guilty of Murder
May 22, 2019 -- The man charged with a fatal 2015 stabbing that led to a standoff with police at a Santa Monica apartment was found guilt of second degree murder Tuesday.

OPINION -- Local 11's Push for Harmful Hotel Worker Policies
May 22, 2019 -- The City Council should reconsider adopting the hotel union’s policies at face value when a recent study found they would hurt tourism and the housekeepers it employs, says the Center for Union Facts.

Proposed Santa Monica Law to Protect Hotel Housekeepers Could Backfire, Report Says
May 21, 2019 -- UPDATED A proposed Santa Monica ordinance to protect hotel housekeepers could hurt those it intends to help and deal a blow to Santa Monica's thriving hotel industry, according to a report released Tuesday.

Santa Monica Police to Crack Down on E-Scooters on Beach Bike Path
May 21, 2019 -- Santa Monica police on Friday will crack down on e-scooter and e-bike riders who violate the law by using the beach bike path, police officials announced Tuesday.

Local Choreographers Take Their Art to the Beach
May 21, 2019 -- Those fascinated by the art of dance can catch local choreographers going through their creative motions Tuesday, June 18, through Sunday, June 23, at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

Low-Income Housing Project Slated for Pico Neighborhood Subject of Meeting Tuesday
May 20, 2019 -- A 55-unit low-income housing project in the Pico Neighborhood estimated to cost nearly $42 million -- or more than $750,000 per unit -- will be the subject of the first of two community meetings Tuesday.

Santa Monica Conservancy Announces 2019 Award Winners
May 20, 2019 -- A redesigned diner that stands at what was once the end of Route 66 and the city's latest historic district are among the winners of this year's Historic Preservation Awards, the Santa Monica Conservancy announced Monday.

Police Seeking Information on Burglary Suspects Who Targeted Elderly Residents
May 20, 2019 -- Santa Monica police are seeking victims in a burglary scheme that targeted elderly residents earlier this year. The suspects entered victims' homes by posing as gardeners or pretending to be new neighbors, police said.

EXTRA! "Nightmare Neighbor" Arrested, Locked Out of Santa Monica Apartment
May 17, 2019 -- Mark Yaskoweak, the "nightmare neighbor" at an affordable housing building on the beach, was arrested by Santa Monica police Wednesday evening after Sheriff's deputies trapped the reclusive tenant in a cat-and-mouse scheme.

Santa Monica Lawmaker Backs Transportation Funding Lawsuit
May 17, 2019 -- Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom on Friday backed California Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to wage a legal battle over the nearly $1 billion in transportation funds the federal government pulled from the state's high-speed rail project.

SMC Emeritus Concert Band to Feature Magic in Free Performance June 2
May 17, 2019 -- It promises to be a magical afternoon when Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band performs next month at The Broad Stage.

SPECIAL REPORT -- "Nightmare Neighbor" Poses Risk to Law Enforcement, Court Records Show
May 16, 2019 -- His rants and threats in the hallway of an old Santa Monica apartment building have earned him the nickname "the nightmare neighbor." His name is Mark Yaskoweak and according to court records obtained by The Lookout he "has been under investigation with federal authorities for domestic terrorist threats."

SMC’s Law Pathway Sees Number of Graduates More than Triple in Three Years
May 16, 2019 -- Nearly three dozen Santa Monica College (SMC) students graduated from the school's Law Pathway Program, more than triple the number that graduated in the program's first year.

Council Permanently Bans Market-Rate "Micro Units," At Least For Now
May 15, 2019 -- The City Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to permanently ban market rate "micro units" in Santa Monica but will revisit the issue later this year.

Old Sycamore Triggers Citywide Tree Ordinance
May 15, 2019 -- Worried it might be missing the forest for the tree, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday voted to allow a lone sycamore to remain while staff crafts a tree ordinance for the entire city.

OPINION -- Community, Not Staff, Should Chart Future of Pico Boulevard
May 15, 2019 -- The zoning rules that are being recommended to the Planning Commission Wednesday night will work to destroy the character and scale of our neighborhoods, writes the Pico Neighborhood Association Board of Directors

Mobster Whitey Bulger Believed Homeless Santa Monica Cat Led to His Arrest
May 14, 2019 -- Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who was killed in prison last October, said he "predicted" that feeding a homeless cat in Santa Monica "will cost me my life."

City Set to Renew Childcare Center Leases for $1 a Year
May 14, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to renew $1 annual leases with the operators of two daycare centers in Santa Monica's Sunset Park neighborhood.

Santa Monica Sees Lowest Affordable Housing Production in More Than a Decade
May 13, 2019 -- Santa Monica added two affordable hosuing units during the past fiscal year, making it the fewest affordable multi-family residences built in the city in more than a decade, according to a report released Thursday.

Santa Monica Library to Present "Lecture on Nothing" Next Month
May 5, 2019 -- "I am here and there is nothing to say" begins John Cage's "Lecture on Nothing," which will be performed by poet Brendan Constantin as part of the Soundwaves new music series at the Santa Monica Public Library next month.

Santa Monica College Seeks Applicants for Citizens Bond Oversight Committee
May 13, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is seeking business representatives to help oversee the implementation of bond measures that are funding capital improvement projects.

City Survey Finds E-Scooter, E-Bike Riders Are Affluent, Live Outside City
May 10, 2019 -- Nearly two-thirds of e-scooter and e-bike riders in Santa Monica live outside the city and more than a third make over $100,000 a year, according to a survey released by the City Wednesday.

Traffic Crackdown to Include E-Scooter Riders
May 10, 2019 -- In addition to citing bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws, Santa Monica police on Friday will be pulling over e-scooter riders for the first time.

City to Hire Company to Administer Homeless Database
May 9, 2019 -- The City is expected to hire a company that specializes in administering social service databases to maintain the system that tracks the progress of homeless clients in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Debate Team Wraps Up Winning Season
May 9, 2019 -- Two weeks after taking first place in the national championships, Santa Monica College's Speech and Debate Team appropriately cooled down in the season's last tournament.

EXTRA -- Santa Monica Hotel Hit with Biggest Fine in Coastal Commission History
May 8, 2019 -- The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday hit the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica with the biggest fine in the agency's 40-year history and denied a retroactive permit for the owner's "bait-and-switch" development.

Visitors Pumped Nearly $2 Billion into Santa Monica Economy, Tourism Officials Report
May 8, 2019 -- Santa Monica's thriving tourism industry pumped $1.93 billion into the local economy last year, with more than $58 million in bed taxes going directly into the City's coffers, tourism officials reported Wednesday.

Santa Monica College Teaches Schoolchildren Science Can Be Fun
May 8, 2019 -- More than 100 kids found unraveling the principles of gravity and other scientific mysteries can be fun at the 2nd Annual Santa Monica College (SMC) STEM Festival on Saturday.

Santa Monica College Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship
May 7, 2019 -- Santa Monica College student Hesham Jarmakani, who volunteered to aid his fellow Syrians while the country was under siege, is this year's winner of the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Nearly Two Dozen Homeless People Died in Santa Monica Last Year; Rate Was Higher than County's
May 6, 2019 -- One died of an accidental overdose on a Santa Monica sidewalk. Another was stabbed to death in a walkway. A third hung himself in a shed. They were among the 22 homeless people living in Santa Monica who died in 2018.

Retired Santa Monica Cop Hits the Road
May 6, 2019 -- Jay Trisler is going for a walk. The retired Santa Monica police lieutenant will leave the beach city on Thursday and walk to Downtown Los Angeles, and then he'll keep going.

Santa Monica Library Lecture Explores the Architects Who Built Southern California
May 6, 2019 -- The buildings they designed in Southern California are more famous than their names -- the Elks Lodge in Los Angeles and Grauman’s Million Dollar Theater, among them.

Rent Board to Review $5.3 Million Budget for Upcoming Fiscal Year
May 3, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Rent Control Board next week will review a proposed $5.3 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that deviates little from the current budget.

Santa Monica Celebrates Free Comic Book Day on Saturday
May 3, 2019 -- Super heroes and heroines will seize the day Saturday as the Santa Monica Public Library holds its third annual Free Comic Book Day celebration.

EXTRA Planning Commission Rejects Council's Request to Propose Ban on "Micro Units"
May 2, 2019 -- The Planning Commission on Wednesday defied the City Council's request to recommend a permanent ban on "micro units" saying they provide a valuable niche in Santa Monica's housing market.

Mountain Lion's Death "Rousing" Call for Rat Poison Ban, Bloom Says
May 2, 2019 -- The death in March of a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains should serve as a rallying cry for stronger protections against rat poisons, Assemblymember Richard Bloom said Thursday.

Santa Monica Showcases Indigenous Art at Tongva Park This Month
May 2, 2019 -- Kuuyam, the Tongva word for “guest,” will be the theme of the second annual "Indigenous Now," a celebration of native art held in Santa Monica this month.

Santa Monica Police to Look for Bicyclists, Pedestrians Violating Traffic Laws
May 1, 2019 -- During May, Santa Monica police will be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists violating traffic laws, Police Department officials announced this week.

'Serial Sexual-Thrill Killer' Arrested by Santa Monica Police Goes on Trial
May 1, 2019 -- The trial of a suspected serial killer who lived in Santa Monica when he was arrested for the 2008 stabbing of a local woman is scheduled to start Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorneys office.

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