Environment

Growing better materials

Dear EarthTalk: Merino wool undergarments tout themselves as being kinder to the environment than other wools or synthetics. How is this so? — Stella Cooley, Bangor, ME  Since the 1970s, professional athletes and weekend warriors alike have sworn by base layers made out of synthetic “fibers” that would let sweat-based... Read more →

News

Man dies when boat overturns near pier

SM BAY — Authorities say a man died and another was injured when their boat struck a breakwater and turned over near the Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Police Sgt. Thomas Burgess said Sunday both men were thrown into the water and attempted to swim ashore Saturday night. Harbor patrol officers responded and retrieved the men but were... Read more →

News

A dose of election season negativity

DOWNTOWN — As negative television ads targeting candidates for statewide and national offices blare non-stop during the final days before the election, local races in Santa Monica seem comparatively civil. Still, this laid-back beach town is not immune to election year bad vibes. Take, for example, the low-growth group the Santa... Read more →

News

Slate mailer group takes more barbs for campaign tactics

DOWNTOWN — The group Santa Monicans for Quality Government, which last week irked Santa Monica’s cops and firefighters by sending out what the public safety unions said was a misleading campaign mailer, has come up with a new flier that is drawing criticism from the organization Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS). The... Read more →

Homelessness

Formerly homeless honored by community

DOWNTOWN — Before she was homeless, Ruth McKnight was a victim of domestic violence. She had quit her job at a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles, because she said, “I couldn’t keep going to work with bruises on my arms.” Eventually, McKnight separated from the man who had abused her, but with no source of income and a... 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 →

Crime

Drive-by robbers busted for snatching iPhone

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. Thursday, Oct. 21, at 8:20 p.m., Santa Monica police officers were flagged down in the 1200 block of 14th Street regarding a robbery that just occurred.... Read more →

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 →

City Council

Street performers have City Hall’s ear

CITY HALL — City Hall officials like to promote the Third Street Promenade as a one-of-a-kind experience — a pedestrian area for shopping and dining that’s also a vibrant public space. Where else in Southern California, after all, can you buy a shirt at Banana Republic, watch a street performer catch a tea pot with his... Read more →

Education

Crossroads students rally for sanity in politics

CITY HALL — Piggybacking on the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” that Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are holding this Saturday in Washington, D.C., a group of local high school students is planning to do some rallying of its own, all without leaving town. In a scaled-down attempt to “bring... 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 →

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 →

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 →