COVID Cases See Dramatic Surge in Santa Monica
July 5, 2022 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica nearly tripled over the past week, reaching the highest level in five months, according to Los Angeles County Health data.
Most Oppose Rival Tax Measures, Poll Finds
July 5, 2022 -- Rival ballot measures that would hike the local transfer tax on high-end properties currently lack the support needed for voter approval, according to a local monthly poll of select residents.
Council Makes Outdoors Business Program Permanent
June 30, 2022 -- Spawned as a temporary response to a health emergency, “parklets” are here to stay as a permanent feature of Santa Monica's commercial strips, the City Council unanimously decided on Tuesday.
Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint This Evening
July 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica police will hold a DUI checkpoint this evening between 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location within the city.
Santa Monica Extends Health Emergency
June 30, 2022 -- Santa Monica's remaining health emergency orders -- including tenant protections against evictions -- have been extended through the end of the year unless the County terminates them earlier.
Santa Monica Minimum Wage Rises to $15.96
June 30, 2022 -- The minimum wage will increase by nearly a dollar on Friday to $15.96 an hour for all employees physically working in Santa Monica for at least two hours a week.
Council Shakes Up Downtown Board
June 29, 2022 -- In what promises to be a major shakeup, a divided City Council on Tuesday night appointed three business activists to Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.'s (DTSM) board of directors.
Council Places Bed Tax Increase on the Ballot
June 29, 2022 -- The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a measure on the November ballot that would raise Santa Monica's bed tax to help tackle the city's homeless problem.
Santa Monica Rent Growth Remains Sluggish
June 28, 2022 -- For the third straight month median rents in Santa Monica rose by less than 1 percent in June, mirroring a slowing growth trend across the LA region.
Council Submits Housing Plan Under Pressure
June 28, 2022 -- Under the gun, a frustrated City Council voted last week to submit a revised plan to the State to add nearly 9,000 new housing units they fear will forever change the face of Santa Monica.
Council to Explore Use of Premium Beachfront Property for War Veterans
June 27, 2022 -- Counciilmember Oscar de la Torre hopes to usher in Independence Day with a bold plan to provide support services for homeless veterans next door to one of the country's most exclusive private social clubs.
COVID Cases in Santa Monica Drop to Two-Month Low
June 27, 2022 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica saw a sharp drop last week, falling below 200 for the first time in more than two months, according to LA County Health data.
Police Hold 'Active Threat' Drill at JAMS
June 24, 2022 -- Those were not real shots you might have heard fired at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) Friday morning. There were no victims killed and the active shooter wasn't really taken into custody.
LETTERS -- Appointments to Downtown Board Critical
June 24, 2022 -- The city absolutely cannot afford to forgo the multiple tens of millions in lost annual general fund tax revenues that the continuing devastation that is Downtown and the Promenade creates.
Council Retreat Focuses on Getting Along
June 25, 2022 -- Divided by policy differences, personal dislike and what one Councilmember called "COVID crankiness," Santa Monica City Councilmembers tried to iron out their tensions during a spring retreat.
Rent Board Members' Proposed Rent Freeze Outrageous
June 23, 2022 -- Being a slave of the state is a mighty price to pay for free stuff and reduced rent, writes former Rent Board member Robert Kronovet.
Santa Monica Pier One of California's Most Polluted Beaches
June 22, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Pier has landed back on Heal the Bay's infamous Beach Bummer list, ranking fourth among the most polluted beaches in California.
Council Approves Hybrid Meetings, Rule Changes
June 22, 2022 -- The Santa Monica City Council could begin holding "hybrid meetings" on a test basis, while Boards and Commissions will continue to meet remotely until the end of the year.
LETTERS -- "How to Keep the Poor, Poor," the Santa Monica City Guide for Keeping the Rich, Rich
June 22, 2022 -- The current planning and housing policies of Santa Monica are completely broken and doomed to keep on failing the poor and enriching the wealthy.
Man Killed Crossing Freeway
June 21, 2022 -- A man was struck and killed by a motorcyclist while walking across the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica in the early morning hours Tuesday, according to police.
SMC Planetarium Explores Space Colonies and the Search for Alien Life
June 21, 2022 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) John Drescher planetarium will take a look back next month at a visionary's plans to build space colonies and explore an unlikely place to find extraterrestrial life.
OPINION -- Protecting Our Community Amid Record Inflation
June 21, 2022 -- We believe that City Council and City Staff have emergency powers they can use under current conditions to provide a one-time fix to this bizarre and unforeseeable crisis, write two Rent Board Commissioners.
Catalytic Converter Theft Puts Focus on Popular Target
June 20, 2022 -- A Los Angeles man on probation is the latest suspect arrested in what has likely become Santa Monica's most popular crime target -- the often ignored but highly valued catalytic converter.
Santa Monica COVID Cases Dip as County Preps to Vaccinate Young Children
June 20, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases dipped in Santa Monica for the first time in five weeks as Los Angeles County Health officials prepare to offer vaccines for infants and young children.
De la Torre Scores Key Victory in Conflict of Interest Case
June 17, 2022 -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Thursday solidified his finding last September that Councilmember Oscar de la Torre does not have a conflict of interest in the Voting Rights lawsuit his wife and the organization he headed filed against the City.
Tenant Hospitalized After Apartment Catches Fire
June 7, 2022 -- A resident of an apartment building in the Pico Neighborhood was hospitalized Thursday night after a fire broke out in a second-floor unit.
Mayor's Tax Measure Appears Headed for Ballot
June 16, 2022 -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich's proposed measure to dramatically boost Santa Monica's high-end real estate transfer tax appears to be headed for the ballot after a preliminary review of signatures by the City Clerk.
Rent Board Approves Biggest Increase in Four Decades
June 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica's rent control tenants will see the biggest annual rent adjustment in more than 40 years after the Rent Board on Thursday approved a maximum 6 percent hike.
COVID Milestones Go Virtually Unnoticed
June 15, 2022 -- Santa Monica quietly surpassed the 20,000 mark in COVID cases last week, while Los Angeles County topped 3 million cases, according to Los Angeles County Health data.
Santa Monica Imposes Outdoor Watering Restrictions
June 15, 2022 -- With California caught in the grip of a worsening drought, the City Council Tuesday night approved an emergency ordinance that limits outdoor watering to two days a week.
Shots Fired in Pico Neighborhood
June 14, 2022 -- Police are searching for a suspect in a shooting incident that took place Sunday evening in the driveway of an apartment building in the Pico Neighborhood.
Big Blue Bus to Start Accepting Cash Again Next Week
June 13, 2022 -- Nearly a year after the Big Blue Bus (BBB) stopped accepting cash, passengers once again can slip bills and change into the fare boxes starting next Wednesday.
Nearly 1,000 SMC Grads Walk the 'Walk'
June 13, 2022 -- Some 950 Santa Monica College (SMC) graduates got the red-carpet treatment Saturday during the school's second annual Grad Walk at the Bundy campus.
Council Members Request Analysis of Mayor's Tax Measure
June 10, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to ask staff to prepare a report analyzing the impacts of Mayor Sue Himmelrich's proposed ballot measure to dramatically hike the real estate transfer tax on high-end properties.
International Art Fair Headed to Santa Monica Next Year
June 10, 2022 -- Billed as "a leading international art fair," Frieze Los Angeles is headed to Santa Monica, where it will hold its fourth edition at the Airport next year, City officials announced this month.
College Board Places Bond Measure on November Ballot
June 9, 2022 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) Board of Trustees on Tuesday placed a $375 million bond measure on the November ballot that, among other things, would finance new high-tech hybrid classrooms and help build housing for homeless and low-income students.
Appointed Bodies Likely to Continue Remote Meetings
June 9, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to make the findings needed to allow appointed boards and commissions to continue holding meetings remotely.
Muir Parents Face Tight Deadline to Relocate Students
June 8, 2022 -- Parents of the approximately 250 students at John Muir Elementary have until next Friday to find another school for their children for the upcoming school year, District officials said Wednesday.
Security Firm at Parking Structures Expected to Get Contract Extension
June 8, 2022 -- The security firm credited with slashing burglary and theft from motor vehicles in half at the Downtown Santa Monica parking structures is expected to get a six month contract extension.
Rent Board Poised to Jack Up Registration Fee, Rents
June 7, 2022 -- The Rent Control Board on Thursday is expected to hike the registration fee landlords pay in order to dig out of a growing budget deficit. It also is expected to raise the maximum allowable rent increase tenants pay by what is likely a record 6 percent.
High Bacteria Levels Persist in Waters Around Pier
June 7, 2022 -- The Santa Monica pier remains under a health advisory that has persisted for at least the past month, Los Angeles County Health officials said Tuesday.
Santa Monica Reads Joan Didion's 'Where I Was From'
June 6, 2022 -- "Where I Was From," the late writer Joan Didion's "love song" to California, has been chosen to celebrate the 20th anniversay of Santa Monica Reads!
OPINION -- We Can't Just Wish Homeless People Away
June 6, 2022 -- Building costly units in pricey zip codes such as Santa Monica will never move the homelessness needle. We need to start finding hundreds of places for hundreds of people at a time instead of just a few dozen.
Downtown Officials Reject Call to Replace 'Safety Ambassadors'
June 6, 2022 -- Downtown officials last week rejected a call by Councilmember Phil Brock to replace Downtown "safety" ambassadors with security guards.
OPINION -- The Solution Is Not Eliminating Ambassadors
June 6, 2022 -- Recently, there have been calls to eliminate our dedicated, effective, compassionate and loyal ambassadors. We are here to say that this is not on the table, writes Barry Snell, who heads the agency in charge of Downtown.
School District Officials Issue Drug Warning
June 3, 2022 -- School District officials on Friday issued an alert warning of the dangers of high potency drugs after three students overdosed on fentanyl last week.Disclaimer: This ad is not sponsored by the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC)
New Chamber President Takes Helm
June 3, 2022 -- For the first time in 14 years, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce has a new president after Judy Kruger -- a business and economic development specialist -- assumed the post on Wednesday.
LETTERS -- Nicki Lewis Was a Champion for Social Justice
June 3, 2022 -- During my tenure as City Attorney, Nicki was a staunch advocate on behalf of the homeless and would often provide me with insights about those living on Santa Monica streets, Bob Myers writes.
Santa Monica Fitness Trailblazer Dead at 89
June 2, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Natalie “Nicki” Lewis was always running or climbing, and though political office or social status was never her goal, she made history and rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous.
OPINION -- Councilmember Brock's Open Letter on Transfer Tax
June 2, 2022 -- My proposed transfer tax would give us sufficient funding to address our residents’ primary concerns without placing an undue burden on taxpayers and funding another development scheme.
LETTERS -- Let the Voters Decide
June 2, 2022 -- The City Council should politely shelve Phil Brock’s suggestion for a poison pill and allow the residents’ petitions for a ballot measure that funds affordable housing to go forward.
Santa Monica Rents See Small Monthly Rise
June 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica rents rose by less than 1 percent last month after falling flat in April, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Wednesday.
Police Arrest Two LA Men for Strong Arm Robbery
June 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica police briefly chased and arrested two men after the strong arm robbery of a woman with a baby in Ocean Park Monday afternoon.
LETTERS -- Slow-Growth Heads Are Spinning
June 1, 2022-- Mayor Sue Himmelrich's tax proposal will turbo-charge the construction of massive affordable housing buildings the vast majority of residents are not eligible for.
COVID Cases Reach Four Month High
May 31, 2022 -- Cornonavirus cases in Santa Monica continued rising last week, reaching the highest level in four months with no new virus-related deaths reported.
LETTERS -- Brock's Counter-Initiative Could Give Big Real Estate Investors Free Rein
May 31, 2022 -- Phil Brock, in his rush to seize the stage with a counter-initiative, may have abandoned his slow-growth constituency, writes former mayor Kevin McKeown.
Poll Finds Strong Support for Boosting Security Downtown
May 27, 2022 -- Santa Monica residents who participated in a push poll this month expressed strong support for Counclmember Phil Brock's get-tough approach to tackling Downtown's homeless problem.
Ed Foundation Wine Auction Raises Record $400,000
May 27, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation's first in-person wine auction in three years raised a record $400,000 for local schools this month, Foundation officials announced Friday.
Brock Proposes Alternative to Mayor's "Outrageous" Transfer Tax
May 26, 2022 -- Councilmember Phil Brock proposed a transfer tax measure on Tuesday to counter what he called the "outrageous" measure Mayor Sue Himmelrich is trying to place on the November ballot.
SMC to Showcase Student Photos at Three Exhibits
May 26, 2022 -- Three photography exhibitions featuring the work of Santa Monica College (SMC) students in genres that include fine art, portraiture and still life will open next month, school officials announced Thursday.
School District Beefs Up Security in Wake of Texas School Shooting
May 25, 2022 -- The School District has heightened security at Santa Monica campuses in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday.
Council Names Park for Late Mayor Bob Holbrook
May 25, 2022 -- A small oval-shaped park near the heart of Santa Monica where the late Mayor Bob Holbrook played as a boy will be named in his honor.
OPINION -- Goose Egg Park?
It delighted me to hear the City Council voted to rename a city park for my friend, the late Councilmember Bob Holbrook. Delight soon turned to horror, as the residual English major in me regarded the symbolism: GOOSE EGG Park?
Weekly COVID Cases Surge in Santa Monica
May 24, 2022 -- The number of weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica surged to the highest level since January, while two virus related deaths were reported, according to County Health data.
Assemblymember Bloom to Address SMC's Graduating Class Next Month
May 24, 2022 -- State Assembleymember Richard Bloom -- a staunch champion of environmental causes -- will be the speaker at the Santa Monica College (SMC) 2022 Commencement Ceremony on June 16, school officials announced Tuesday.
Santa Monica Rent Controlled Building Sells for Record $330 Million
May 23, 2022 -- The former Champagne Towers -- a half-century-old rent control apartment complex -- has sold for $330 million, making it the most expensive apartment sale in Santa Monica history.
Mayor's Transfer Tax Campaign to Submit Signatures Next Month
May 23, 2022 -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich said Monday that her campaign to dramatically boost Santa Monica's transfer tax on high-end real estate plans to submit signed ballot petitions to the City Clerk by mid-June.
Council Takes Yet Another Stab at Shortening Meetings
May 20, 2022 -- Santa Monica's City Council, which is scheduled to meet every other week, held 41 meetings last year, with many lasting into the early morning hours.
SMC Planetarium Explores Latest in Space Flight
May 20, 2022 -- Privately booked missions and how NASA tracks it spacecraft around the solar system are among the topics Santa Monica College’s (SMC) John Drescher Planetarium will focus on next month.
Planning Commission Gives Enthusiastic Thumbs Up to Gehry Project
May 19, 2022 -- With an enthusiasm seldom seen in a City whose populace is skeptical of major developments, the Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a 316,750-square-foot project on one of Santa Monica's most visible sites.
Santa Monica Picks Its Own to Head Library System
May 19, 2022 -- After searching nationwide, Santa Monica has tapped a veteran staff member to head its Library system as it emerges from the coronavirus shutdown.
LETTERS -- City Officials Should Work Around Obstacles, Not Use Them as Excuses
May 18, 2022 -- One Councilmember’s view of tackling Santa Monica's homeless problem was a refreshing contrast to the excuses, evasions, and blame-shifting offered by City officials.
SMC Student Film with Unusual Look at Women's Choice Headed to Cannes
May 18, 2022 -- A short Santa Monica College (SMC) student film that takes a head-on, complex look at women's choice will be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this month.
Shared Mobility Ridership Plummets During Pandemic
May 17, 2022 -- Santa Monica's efforts to encourage alternate modes of transportation were dealt a major blow during the coronavirus shutdown, according to a report released by the City last week.
SMC Performances Feature Jazz, Dance and a Staged Novel
May 17, 2022 -- Vocal and instrumental jazz, contemporary dance and the staged performance of an adventure classic will be presented this month at Santa Monica College (SMC).
Local COVID Cases Dip, Deaths Rise
May 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica saw coronavirus cases dip last week but reported three virus-related deaths, the most in a month, according to Los Angeles County Health data.
Santa Monica Revs Up for June Primaries
May 16, 2022 -- Once again, Santa Monica voters have multiple ways to cast ballots they received in the mail this month for Federal, State and County offices in the June 7 California primary.
Phillis Resigns from Santa Monica Rent Board
May 16, 2022 -- Rent Control Board member Nicole Phillis unexpectedly resigned Thursday night, bidding a tearful farewell six months before completing her final term.
Homeless to Be Given Priority for Low-Income Housing
May 12, 2022 -- The City Council on Wednesday green-lighted a plan to move those with emergency housing vouchers (EHV), most of them homeless, to the top of Santa Monica's waiting list for low-income housing.
Pier Waters Remain Under Health Advisory
May 12, 2022 -- The waters around the Santa Monica pier remained under a health advisory for high levels of bacteria, Los Angeles County Health officials said Thursday.
Santa Monica Hires Fresno City Attorney
May 11, 2022 -- Doug Sloan -- an avid cyclist and veteran lawyer who argued a landmark free-speech case before entering public service -- will be Santa Monica's new City Attorney.
Council Extends Zoning Law Allowing Businesses to Operate Outdoors
May 11, 2022 -- Santa Monica businesses can continue to operate outdoors after the City Council on Tuesday extended an interim zoning ordinance put in place to boost sales during the coronavirus emergency.
COVID Cases Continue Rising in Santa Monica
May 10, 2022 -- The number of local coronavirus cases continued climbing in Santa Monica with 615 cases confirmed over the past two weeks, although no new deaths were reported, according to Los Angeles County Health data.
Santa Monica Tourism on Road to Recovery, Industry Officials Say
May 10, 2022 -- Santa Monica's tourism industry is bouncing back from the coronavirus shutdown but must bring back international visitors before it can fully recover, tourism officials said at a summit last week.
City Attorney's Contract Has a Small Catch
May 9, 2022 -- The proposed $320,000-a-year contract for incoming City Attorney Douglas Sloan has plenty of perks. But one seemingly enticing benefit will do little good for the current Fresno City Manger, at least in Santa Monica.
Two Stabbed in Park Across from City Hall
May 9, 2022 -- Three juveniles and a 19-year old were arrested and two victims hospitalized after a fight over the theft of a cell phone broke out in Tongva Park Friday afternoon.
Man Charged with 2018 Killing Spree in Santa Monica Sentenced
May 6, 2022 -- A man was sentenced to 124 years to life in prison Friday immediately after pleading guilty to a spree of assaults on mostly homeless men in Santa Monica and Los Angeles in 2018 that left five dead and seven injured.
SMC Seeks Applicants to Bond Oversight Committee
May 6, 2022 -- Those who would like to serve on the the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for Santa Monica College (SMC) have until Friday, May 20, to submit an application.
Santa Monica Poised to Hire Fresno City Attorney to Fill Top Legal Post
May 5, 2022 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to hire Fresno City Attorney Douglas Sloan as its top lawyer. Sloan -- who has served as Fresno's chief counsel since 2013 -- would assume the post on June 22.
Santa Monica's Homeless Population Drops During COVID
May 5, 2022 -- Santa Monica's homeless population dropped by 100 --from 907 to 807 -- over the past two years, but the number of those living on the streets has remained flat, according to the results of the 2022 homeless count.
Two Homeless Persons a Month Die in Santa Monica
May 4, 2022 -- Nine homeless people died on Santa Monica's sidewalks. Five were found dead in parks and four on the beach. Another four died in their vehicles. They were among the 54 homeless persons who died in the affluent coastal city over the past two years.
Santa Monica Pier Under County Advisory
May 4, 2022 -- The Santa Monica pier is once again under a health advisory for high levels of bacteria issued by Los Angeles County Health officials Wednesday night.
Missing Men Lost and Found in Santa Monica
May 3, 2022 -- Los Angeles Police on Tuesday asked the public for help finding a man missing since last November who was last seen in Santa Monica. The request came one day after Santa Monica police found a man missing since September 2020.
Amazon Makes Big Move in Santa Monica
May 3, 2022 -- Amazon is poised to become one of Santa Monica's largest employers after signing a lease that will bring more than 1,000 high-paying jobs to the City starting next year.
Brock Calls for Get-Tough Approach to Promenade's Homeless Problem
May 2, 2022 -- (UPDATED) Councilmember Phil Brock on Sunday called for replacing Downtown "safety" ambassadors with security guards and providing round-the-clock police patrols to clean up the Promenade.
Gas Leak Near Promenade Prompts Evacuation
May 2, 2022 -- A major gas leak shut down a two-block stretch of the Promenade for four hours late Monday afternoon as Southern California Gas Company crews worked to repair the gas main break.