Who in the dickens is Dickens?

Because we in America are so fixated on Mark Twain, our “premier storyteller,” we sometimes tend to conflate his personal history with that of England’s “premier storyteller,” Charles Dickens. As writers, public storytellers, and lecturers, they had much in common, especially when it came to humor, satire and impatience with social... Read more →

Culture Watch

Antidotes to holiday blues

If you like your holiday entertainment laugh-filled, but still wondrous while serving a great purpose, make your next stop the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. The annual “Queen Family’s Very Special Holiday Special” is a romp! Check out a variety of live performers during The Actors' Gang production of 'Queen Family's Very... Read more →


How to keep a holiday party from getting awkward

Dear Life Matters, I am hosting a rather large holiday dinner with both friends and family invited. This is a tradition and it has always been very nice and a lot of fun. But this year is a little different because one of my husband’s sisters has had a very bad marital situation this past year. Her husband left her and it turned out... Read more →


Fat-free gifts for foodies

What am I going to give so-and-so for the holidays? That is the universal question this time of year. Whether it’s for your assistant the java junkie, your friend the baker, or your brother-in-law the grill master, there are plenty of food-related gift ideas guaranteed not to be re-gifted. Chocolates, snack mixes, tubs of popcorn are... Read more →


Kids getting prepared

MAIN LIBRARY — City Hall’s Office of Emergency Management has completed an emergency preparedness activity guide for kids as a fun way for them and their families to be prepared for emergencies like an earthquake or fire. Included in the activity guide are tips, fun games and activities, and steps to create a family emergency plan and... Read more →


Santa Monican takes in 68 dogs after hoarder busted

PALS: Tawny with her friend Blessing.  Blessing is a golden retriever rescued wandering in the Palm Springs desert two years ago. (Photo courtesy Carole Hart) MONTANA AVE  — “Can you take six dogs?” Jean McCoy’s friend asked her in October. Animal Control officers had just busted a family of dog hoarders in Westlake and a few... Read more →


New rape survivor support group to meet Friday

DOWNTOWN — Polly Johnson spent years avoiding discussion about rape but now she’s going right at it. Johnson formed a rape survivors group, Face-2-Face, which will meet for the first time this Friday at the First Presbyterian Church on Second Street. The UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica is known for its world-class treatment and... Read more →

Community Profiles

Meals on Wheels legend Regalbuto retires

RoseMary Regalbuto (Brandon Wise brandonw@smdp.com) PICO NEIGHBORHOOD — RoseMary Regalbuto worked with Meals on Wheels West for 27 years, thousands of days, but one of her most memorable was her third. She retired from her position as president and CEO last week. “After three days in the office I felt ready to go on a delivery... Read more →