News

Expanding the Santa Monica Mountains

SM MOUNTAINS — Conservationists are on a mission to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and are calling on those who love the great outdoors to get involved. The National Parks Conservation Association is urging Santa Monica residents to write to the National Park Service, asking the federal agency to consider... Read more →

Crime

Route for Westside subway wins approval

DOWNTOWN L.A. — Los Angeles County transportation officials Thursday approved a subway extension that will take riders from Union Station to the Veterans Administration in Westwood in about 25 minutes. The vote on the draft environmental study of the planned Purple Line was 10 for approval, with county Supervisor Michael Antonovich... Read more →

City Council

Council supports same-sex benefits for contractors

CITY HALL — Companies that win contracts from City Hall could soon have to provide employees living in same-sex domestic partnerships with the same level of family benefits available to their married employees after the City Council gave preliminary approval to an “equal benefits ordinance” on Tuesday night. The move, which... Read more →

Briefs

Pets get spooked, too

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) would like to remind pet owners that although Halloween may be a fun holiday for humans, it can be a potentially dangerous and frightening time for pets. Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween: • Keep pets indoors in a secure, comfortable area with a... Read more →

News

State parks initiative still unclear to city officials

SM BEACH — Eco-friendly Santa Monica isn’t the first place where you’d expect to find a hotbed of vocal opposition to Proposition 21, the state ballot initiative that would charge California vehicle owners an extra $18 in registration fees in order to shore up a $500 million annual revenue stream for park upkeep and... Read more →

Crime

Former TV chef pleads no contest to soliciting murder

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A former Food Network chef pleaded no contest Tuesday to soliciting two Santa Monica homeless men to kill his wife, authorities said. Juan-Carlos Cruz, who hosted “Calorie Commando” and “Weighing In,” entered his plea on the day a hearing was set to begin to determine if there was enough evidence... Read more →

City Council

Group dodging campaign disclosure

CITY HALL — Despite rigorous campaign disclosure rules in Santa Monica, it’s still unclear who is backing the group responsible for the most controversial campaign mailer of the election season so far — the recently formed Santa Monicans for Quality Government (SMQG). The group, which filed a “statement of... Read more →

News

New leaf blower enforcement takes effect Thursday

Gardeners who violate the Santa Monica’s ban on motorized leaf blowers will have another set of eyes watching them come Thursday when the Office of Sustainability and the Environment take over enforcement. Originally banned in the early 1990s, motorized leaf blower restrictions were difficult and costly to enforce due to the... Read more →

Education

A kink in Civic Center joint-use plans

SAMOHI — A partnership between City Hall and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to renovate and expand Santa Monica High School with new athletic and arts facilities has hit a snag, with the initial $57 million for the project in limbo because of a provision in state law that governs Redevelopment Agency finances. City... Read more →

City Council

Council to approve Reed Park office improvements

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 →

Crime

Police: Victim ID’d estranged husband as her attacker

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police say a four-year-old child is staying with relatives after her father, James Ramirez, allegedly shot the girl’s mother on a Santa Monica street corner Friday night, critically injuring her, and then was killed a few blocks away by police after he allegedly brandished his gun at officers. The... Read more →

News

Private schools struggle through tough times

DOWNTOWN — Despite not having to deal with statewide and local budget cuts, some private schools in Santa Monica are still feeling the financial crunch. “Less people have been able to pay tuition or full tuition, which means we've taken a hit,” said Peter Czer, assisting pastor at Lighthouse Christian Academy.... Read more →

Environment

Hydro’s popularity in bloom

Dear EarthTalk What are the environmental benefits of the hydroponic growing of lettuce and other crops? Bruce Keeler Oakland, Calif. While organic agriculture is all the rage, growing by leaps and bounds to meet increased consumer demand for healthier food, another option that’s less well known but just as healthy is hydroponics,... Read more →

Education

Measure Y delays cuts, won’t prevent them

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Even if voters approve a half percent sales tax increase on Nov. 2 and officials direct half of the new revenue to public schools, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will have exhausted its reserves and will again face cuts by the 2012-13 school year, according to district officials’ latest... Read more →

Briefs

Road advisories

Alley Renewal Program The alley south of Pico Boulevard between 22nd and 23rd streets will be resurfaced starting on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Work will include grinding and asphalt overlay. Please be advised that resurfacing operations will generate noise despite best efforts to keep the disturbance to a minimum. The estimated completion... Read more →