Durkee scandal rocks local political campaigns

CITYWIDE — A disgraced treasurer that serviced several hundred Democratic campaigns in California also allegedly took money from local candidates and causes, court documents show. Kinde Durkee, of Durkee & Associates, was arrested in early September on suspicion of mail fraud and removing nearly $700,000 from the money market... Read more →


No worms for the early birds

LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL — The day before Lincoln Middle School students lined up to get their schedules for the 2011-12 academic year, the word came down: There would be no elective classes for seventh graders. The announcement was also brought before the Lincoln PTA. Parents tried to understand what could explain the loss, which would... Read more →


Ocean Park streets, airport to get facelift

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of... Read more →


Homelessness has home online

CYBERSPACE Santa Monica has launched a homelessness services page on its city site. The page provides information about the current state of homelessness in the city, as well as information concerning local efforts to address homelessness for both people who are homeless and people who want to help. The web site is part of City Hall’s... Read more →


Giving kids the ‘Cool Tools’ for success

ROOSEVELT ELEMENTARY — In Catherine Handelman's kindergarten classroom, a circle of 5- and 6-year-olds taunted a person-shaped cutout named “Put Up Paul.” “You're bad at skating!” one child said, and tore a small hole into Paul's paper body. “Surprisingly, no one's made fun of his head yet,”... Read more →


Former car wash employee booked for attempted murder

WILSHIRE BLVD — A Los Angeles man was being held Sunday on $1 million bail and is facing charges of attempted murder after he was arrested Friday for allegedly stabbing an employee at the Wilshire West Car Wash. Santa Monica police said Peter Duran, 29, who previously worked at the car wash located on the 2300 block of Wilshire... Read more →


Warming puts species at peril

Dear EarthTalk I know that polar bears are losing ice cover due to climate change, but what are other ways that global warming affects wildlife around the globe? Hanna Bond Hartford, Conn. Although perhaps the best known examples, polar bears certainly aren't the only wildlife species already suffering as a result of global warming. With the... Read more →


Cops release surveillance video in beating case

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police have released surveillance video of two men they believe brutally beat a man Thursday morning while he was working out on the 3100 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. The video shows the suspects walking west on Santa Monica Boulevard near Busby’s West bar and restaurant around 2:15 a.m.... Read more →


Palm tree loses its head

OCEAN PARK — Early Friday morning, a wind blew. Hard. Around 3:27 a.m., Kimery Sherwood heard a loud sound that shook her from sleep. “It was like an earthquake, but the ground didn’t move,” she said. Something else had, though. When Sherwood looked outside, she saw the looming mass of a palm tree had severed the... Read more →


New book takes look at children of Hollywood

DOWNTOWN — In the new book, “Raised by the Stars,” author Nick Thomas talks to the children of actors from cinema’s Golden Era about the joys and difficulties of growing up in the shadow of the Hollywood spotlight. One of those children is long-time Santa Monica resident, June Lockhart. Her father, Gene, was a... Read more →


Senate approves funding for homeless vets

DOWNTOWN — By unanimous consent, the Senate Friday passed the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act, which authorizes $35.5 million to address the critical need for veteran housing and homeless services at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. The Department of Veterans Affairs already set aside the money for the... Read more →


Details in Travolta’s stolen car case released

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police on Thursday released the license plate number of a stolen classic car owned by actor John Travolta as investigators continue to search for the rare 1970 Mercedes 280 SL convertible. The car, which was stolen on Sept. 18 on the 1400 block of Berkeley Street at 3:46 p.m., has the license... Read more →

City Council

Proposed Walgreens stalls at Planning Commission

CITY HALL — A Walgreens store proposed for the southeast corner of Lincoln and Pico boulevards is not, in fact, a housing complex. That seemed to be a central problem for planning commissioners who chose to put off a final decision on the pharmacy until the City Council fills a vacancy on the commission next week. The five... Read more →


Beer run gone bad

Crime Watch is a weekly series culled from reports provided by the Santa Monica Police Department. These are arrests only. All parties are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 8:47 p.m., Officers responded to the 1900 block of Main Street — Star Liquor — regarding a possible burglary or robbery that... Read more →