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Gleaning program provides fresh produce to the needy

DOWNTOWN — Standing amidst the bounty of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, a raggedly dressed man with a tired face holds up a tattered cardboard sign: “Hungry, please help.” Just half a block south is Step Up on Second, one of three local social service agencies that could offer him fresh produce from the market, brought in just... Read more →

Outlook bleak for affordable housing

Developments with an affordable housing element like the Arboretum will be hard to come by in Santa Monica. (File photo) CITY HALL —  City Hall put no money toward affordable housing in the last fiscal year because of the loss of its Redevelopment Agency, according to a report released last week. That calls into question City... Read more →

Saving animals through choice

(Image courtesy FreeHand) SUNSET PARK — A premium dog food brand with celebrity firepower has set up shop in Santa Monica, but this chow company put as much stock in how many animals it feeds as how well it feeds them. FreeHand is to dog food what TOMS is to shoes — for every bag of specialized kibble purchased, another will be... Read more →

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Developer files plans for 150 more units Downtown

Fritto Misto, a popular Downtown eatery, may be displaced by a planned housing development. (Photo courtesy Google Images) DOWNTOWN — Two new residential buildings by one of Santa Monica’s most active developers proposed for Downtown will bring another 150 units to the area and potentially displace well-known businesses. NMS... Read more →

Council imposes order on flood of developments

(File photo) CITY HALL — The City Council Tuesday night approved a list of priorities to determine which of dozens of developments in the planning queue would get the first look, with affordable housing and unit mix topping the list. That was followed by a project’s money-making potential and connection to local educational... Read more →

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Rent Control Board considers fee increase for landlords

(File photo) CITY HALL — The Rent Control Board on Thursday will get a look at a plan to raise registration fees on rent-controlled apartments and shift some of that cost to landlords for the first time as part of a plan to close a possible half-million dollar budget gap. Like other public entities, the Santa Monica Rent Control... Read more →

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New telescopes grace Santa Monica Pier

TAKING A GANDER: Australian tourist Benjamin Thomas tries a new distance viewer on the Santa Monica Pier on Tuesday. (Photo by Daniel Archuleta) SM PIER — Benjamin Thomas, an Australian, peered through a coin-operated pair of binoculars on the north end of the Santa Monica Pier. “I saw the beach and lots of cold people,” he said,... Read more →

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Boutique theaters sniffing around Downtown

(Photo courtesy Google Images) DOWNTOWN — At least three independent movie theater operators have been sniffing around the Downtown site recently dropped by AMC Theatres, city officials say, sustaining hope that the break in negotiations with the company will not hurt development efforts there. Arclight Theatres, LOOK Cinemas and... Read more →

Santa Monica’s restaurant roundup

CITYWIDE — It can’t be refuted: Santa Monica is one of the best cities in the region to dine in. With an abundance of fresh produce trucked in almost daily and the aesthetic beauty so apparent, top-rated restaurants rush to serve us the finest dishes. Food fanatics already have a lot to look forward to this year as several new restaurants... Read more →

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PYFC fights to survive in midst of funding drought

THE SCENE: Pico Youth & Family Center Executive Director Oscar de la Torre speaks to supporters during a rally at City Hall last month. The crowd gathered to speak during a council meeting. (Photo by Daniel Archuleta) SM COURTHOUSE — The embattled Pico Youth & Family Center is still in dire financial straits with both of its... Read more →