Giving thanks, giving back

Thoughts were swirling in Bala Natarajan's head as he rode his Honda Shadow motorcycle on Pacific Coast Highway early one morning, stopping at a local cafe for breakfast. What is passion? What is purpose? What is one without the other? It's the season of giving thanks, but Natarajan wanted to offer more than a token of gratitude to the... Read more →

Tourist spending rises in Santa Monica

The Santa Monica Travel & Tourism summer 2015 statistics on visitor behavior and spending show increases in areas like spending and decreases in certain types of visitors headed to town. The report states that the overall average daily group spending rose to $373 (up from $343 in 2014) and total daily spending of hotel guests rose to... Read more →

Sweet East Coast treat headed to Santa Monica

On Saturday, Nov. 7, Tasti D-Lite will open its doors for the first time on the West Coast in Downtown Santa Monica. But the road to getting the East Coast staple out west was not a fast one, as the shop's owners have had this plan in the works for three years. Owner Kanna Sunkara said he and his business partners first discovered Tasti... Read more →

What’s the future of Downtown Santa Monica?

Did the completion of the LUCE and zoning update leave you with too much free time in your week? Is your Santa Monica experience lacking opportunities to talk about development and complain about traffic? Are you desperately seeking more civic meetings that run past 10 p.m.? If so, rejoice because public hearings have begun on the Downtown... Read more →

The Uber of movers

If your friends won't help you move anymore Bryant Ezeji and Julia Cook will. Well, their new app Trekk will. “Trekk is essentially Uber or Lyft, but instead of moving people, we just move their stuff,” CEO of Trekk, Ezeji, 26, said. “However our service doesn't end at the curb. We take it where you need it. And if you have a couch or... Read more →

Plaza downsized but moving forward

Development in Santa Monica can be a stressful process but Tuesday night the discussion about the Plaza at Santa Monica literally aged planning director David Martin. The Oct. 13 discussion began on Martin's birthday but lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning following hours of public comment and council debate that swung from... Read more →


The ‘cost’ of artisanal furniture

Casey McCafferty used to work in banking where he received a paycheck every two weeks. Now he works as a furniture builder where he is paid with less regularity. But despite that uncertainty, he is happier now. "I need to make a living and provide for my wife and myself, but I need to do something that I love every day too," McCafferty... Read more →

Most development downtown put on hiatus

A majority of development in Downtown Santa Monica will be put on hold pending approval of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) at the request of City Manager Rick Cole. The new process as envisioned by Cole and director of Planning & Community Development, David Martin, will refocus city staff on a handful of projects with special... Read more →

Private operator recommended for the Civic Auditorium

The Civic Working Group (CWG) has made a recommendation about the future of the landmarked, but derelict Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. In a draft report, the CWG said an entertainment/arts complex with a private operator is the best option for rehabilitating the building and meeting the community's desire for a professional performing arts... Read more →


Downtown development projects up for council approval

Two development agreements for new, mixed-use projects by prolific development company NMS Properties are up for debate at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Both projects, one on 5th Street and the other a potential replacement for Denny's on Lincoln Boulevard, were previously discussed and approved by the Planning Commission. Tuesday's... Read more →

A celebration of collaboration

The numerous social service agencies based in Santa Monica likely wouldn't be able to function by themselves. Westside Family Health Center regularly offers primary care to clients of OPCC, which operates several homeless shelters. Upward Bound House, which provides transitional housing, pays for a small portion of the food that Meals on... Read more →

Santa Monica sales tax revenues grow

Sales tax revenues increased year on year for the first quarter of 2015, but the pace of growth at the county and regional level exceeded local levels. Receipts for the quarter were more than 3 percent higher than the same quarter last year but accounting for payment aberrations, actual sales grew by 1.2 percent between January and March... Read more →

$55M Innovation Building unveiled at Samohi

When Dean Chien started as a freshman at Santa Monica High School three years ago, plans were already in motion for the Santa Monica-Malibu school district to construct a new science and technology building on campus. But the finished product still made a powerful impression on Chien, who is now a senior and the school's student body... Read more →