$2M in facility bills await SMMUSD board approval

The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education on Thursday will weigh approval of more than $2 million in facility improvement costs. The bulk of the $2 million in facility-related projects is a $1.57-million Measure BB payment to AWI Builders Inc., for information technology expansion. SMMUSD has moved forward with a new data center as it... Read more →


Jury deadlocks in murder trial

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office plans to retry an accused murderer after a jury deadlocked during the first trial. Prosecutors were attempting to secure the conviction of Meliton Lorenzo Lopez for the gang-related murder of 29-year-old Santa Monica resident Gil Verastegui, who was shot along with another man while standing... Read more →


Beaches recovering from weekend windstorm

A day of wind equals a week of cleanup along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. Weekend storms caused high surf and winds along the coast with some areas of the popular beach bike path covered by as much as two feet of sand by the end of Sunday. Officials said work to clear the route countywide would be completed by Friday, Feb. 5 but the Santa... Read more →


Postal service disrupted due to staffing crunch

If your mail has been late in recent months Google is partly to blame, or Amazon, or Fresh Direct, or Instacart, or Ebay, or Dollar Shave Club, or Zappos or whoever you ordered from online instead of buying at a brick and mortar store. Postal officials said the growth of e-commerce has dramatically increased the number of packages flowing... Read more →


New mailboxes deployed to combat stolen mail keys

The Postal Service is fighting mail theft throughout the Los Angeles region, but officials said Santa Monica is no more or less likely to experience theft than other parts of the area. Several residents have reported anecdotal stories of mail theft in recent months, but according to the Postal Service, mail theft is a regional problem and... Read more →

City Council

Fees removed for library cards

Library cards will be free for all who want them, residents and visitors alike, thanks to a decision by the City Council at their Jan. 26 meeting. As part of their budget discussion last week, the City Council eliminated a $25 fee that had been imposed on non-residents applying for a Santa Monica Library card. The fee will disappear as... Read more →


State of the City highlights Santa Monica’s feats, flaws

Rick Cole rattled off many flourishing components of Santa Monica: its important role in the tech sector, its real estate values, its robust tourism industry and its award-winning environmental projects. But the proverbial horn he tooted was muffled by the sound of his rhetorical alarm. “We cannot maintain success by sitting on our... Read more →


Big Blue Bus expands Marina Del Rey service

Changes are afoot at the Big Blue Bus in the month of February. BBB has been revising service in anticipation of the Expo Light Rail in 2016. The second phase of these changes will begin in February with the goal of providing better connectivity to the train. “As a way to mitigate traffic, Expo Phase II stands the best chance of... Read more →

City Council

Split vote on new Downtown movie theater

A new movie theater could still open in Downtown Santa Monica but the project will have to provide significantly more details in order to guarantee approval. City Council voted 4-2 at their Jan. 26 meeting to direct staff to begin negotiations with the developer over the project. However, several councilmembers said their final approval of... Read more →

City Council

Council postpones naming of buffer park

It's not quite back to the drawing board for the name of buffer park, but naming the facility is back in the community's hands. The City Council chose not to officially name the park at their Jan. 26 meeting. Instead, they asked staff to return at a later date with a proposal that would officially name buffer park and also rename Stewart... Read more →


How the Porter Ranch gas leak affects SMMUSD

Behind the scenes, officials in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district's transportation department do what they can to have school buses running smoothly and on time. Sometimes, weather or traffic conditions on Pacific Coast Highway cause route delays. Other times, mechanical issues force them to call for backup vehicles. In recent weeks,... Read more →


SMMUSD mulling turf replacement projects

On a recent tour of Airport Park, Santa Monica-Malibu school district officials got what might have been a glimpse into the future. The City of Santa Monica's recent renovation of the park's turf field came amid mounting concerns about the potential toxicity of crumb rubber, which had been used as an infill, and now the local school district... Read more →


Rescue drill simulates Expo accident

Santa Monica Firefighters got some first hand experience with potential Expo rescues on Jan. 26 thanks to a simulated emergency drill. Rescuers pulled a dummy from beneath the train that was part of a simulated accident with potential passengers pinned beneath the rail cars. Firefighters utilized specialized rods to lift a rail car several... Read more →