Business

City Hall takes on gold, silver dealer

CITY HALL — One of the nation’s largest precious metals dealers is being sued by City Hall for allegedly engaging in a nationwide “bait and switch scam” by using false, deceptive and aggressive sales tactics to trick customers into buying heavily marked-up collector coins instead of gold or silver bars. The Consumer Protection Unit... Read more →

Business

Sony leaving Santa Monica for Playa Vista

Santa Monica Studios (which will keep the name despite the Playa Vista address) is responsible for popular games like 'Kinetica' and 'God of War.' (Image courtesy Sony) MID-CITY — A big player in Sony’s video game division is leaving the city and taking our name with it. Santa Monica Studios, owned by Sony Computer Entertainment,... Read more →

Business

International tourism continues to rise

THE SPOT: Tourists and locals seek cool waters at the beach to fight the heat. (File photo) CITYWIDE — More than half the tourists who visited Santa Monica this past fall were from another country. International tourists made up 56 percent of the total share, up from the fall of 2012, according to Santa Monica Convention and Visitors... Read more →

Business

Development opponents prepare for fight

CITYWIDE — If you think of the public outcry over the Hines development project as a storm, we are likely in the eye of it. Santa Monica’s City Council approved the 765,000-square-foot project for the corner of Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street in a 4 to 3 vote earlier this week despite a large protest against the project held on the... Read more →

Business

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Planning officials say no to pot shops

CITY HALL — Planning officials are harshin’ Santa Monica’s mellow. The Planning Commission will soon consider adding medical marijuana dispensaries to the upcoming zoning ordinance, which regulates how city land can be used, but city planners are recommending against it. In a report for next week’s commission meeting, planning... Read more →

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Business

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Hines gets the go-ahead on Bergamot

CITY HALL — City Council couldn’t wait to approve the Hines project at Tuesday night’s meeting. To avoid delaying the proposal for several more weeks, council opted to approve the Bergamot Transit Village in a 4 to 3 vote with only a few changes. The project planned for a 7-acre plot of land at 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard... Read more →

Business

Hot Dog on a Stick owner files Chapter 11

OCEAN FRONT WALK — The owner of Hot Dog on a Stick has filed for bankruptcy protection. HDOS Enterprises says its total debt ranges from $1 million to $10 million and it estimates assets between $10 million and $50 million. The Los Angeles Times reports the Chapter 11 filing was made Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.... Read more →

Business

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Cheerleader for the cheerleaders

SAMOHI — A few years ago Diane Todd didn’t even like cheerleading. “Our next door neighbor came up and asked my daughter if she’d want to try it,” Todd said. “I was like ‘oh god.’ I'm thinking boys and I'm not really excited about it.” Today, she’s leading a national movement on behalf of professional cheerleaders.... Read more →

Business

Brief: Landlord forced to pay up

A Santa Monica landlord has agreed to pay tenants more than $18,000 and lower their rent by more than half after he was accused of illegally charging market-rate rent, officials with the Rent Control Board said Monday. The Rent Control Board sued the landlord after he evicted a long-term tenant so that his disabled mother could move into... Read more →

Business

Brief: Health center offers flu shots

The Westside Family Health Center is offering flu shots for $20, Monday through Friday. The center, located at 1711 Ocean Park Blvd., offers the shots daily from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Call (310) 450-2191 to make an appointment or walk in during operating hours. The best way to prevent becoming ill with the flu is to get a yearly flu... Read more →