Bill would make it easier for renters to fight eviction

CITYWIDE — A bill that extends renters’ rights passed a crucial hurdle at the State Judiciary Committee last week, and will now move onto the Assembly floor. The bill, called AB 265 and authored by San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, would allow tenants who have been served a three-day notice to “pay or quit” to... Read more →


Life sentence in Juarez murders

DOWNTOWN L.A. — An imprisoned gang member will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of Michael and Anthony Juarez, two brothers who were gunned down in broad daylight while visiting their cousin’s clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard. David Robles was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of... Read more →


Santa Monica Farmers’ Market gets new barricades

DOWNTOWN — Heavy duty nets will be in place next month to protect pedestrians at the Santa Monica Farmers Market where 10 people were killed when an elderly motorist sped through the open-air marketplace in 2003. The city says highway-style barricades and nets capable of stopping errant vehicles will be installed on Wednesdays and... Read more →


Synagogue blast suspect indicted by grand jury

LOS ANGELES — A homeless man has been indicted on charges of planting an explosive that detonated outside a synagogue in Santa Monica last month. A federal grand jury on Tuesday brought four counts against 60-year-old Ron Hirsch, including use of an explosive to damage property. He could face up to 70 years in prison if found... Read more →


Canary Island palm trees cause a stir in NOMA

NOMA — What if Santa Monica planted a tree, but nobody wanted it? The seemingly unlikely scenario reared its head in this tree-hugging city when officials told residents of Georgina and Marguerita avenues that dying Canary Island date palms would be replaced with California native sycamore trees. “We were mildly... Read more →


Santa Monicans react to bin Laden’s death

CITYWIDE — When news broke Sunday that a team of Navy Seals killed America’s most wanted, Osama bin Laden, impromptu celebrations popped up across the nation. Crowds gathered outside Ground Zero in New York and the White House, cheering and lofting signs into the air. Baseball fans in Philadelphia chanted “U.S.A.!... Read more →


Dog park to be named for Katz

JOSLYN PARK — Former Mayor Herb Katz was more than just a public servant and an architect. He also loved dogs. On Thursday, city officials will dedicate the off-leash dog area at Joslyn Park in honor of Katz, who died in January 2009 after a long bout with cancer. He was 78. Katz, who served on many boards and commissions, including... Read more →


BBB wants to diversify its advertising portfolio

DOWNTOWN — Local transit officials are trying to work out a deal with Culver City’s bus company to take over their advertising arm for a cut of the profits. Currently Culver City Bus does not have an advertising program, choosing instead to use space on its 52 coaches to build brand recognition for the company and, in turn,... Read more →


FCVs making a comeback

Dear EarthTalk Not long ago we were reading a lot about hydrogen’s role in a clean energy future, with cars transitioning from gasoline-powered engines to hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Where does hydrogen fit now in the mix with electric cars now coming on so strong? Amanda Jenkins Troy, Minn. It is true that just a few years... Read more →


Pico residents weigh in on Expo buffer zone

CITY YARDS — Residents living near the proposed Exposition Light Rail Line maintenance yard on Thursday had a rare opportunity to weigh in on what they want to see built in a roughly 2-acre buffer zone meant to shield them from noise made by trains. Representatives from the Metro Transit Authority, Exposition Construction Authority... Read more →


Yahoo! Center parking dilemma bumped to May

CITY HALL — Some projects just can’t catch a break. The Planning Commission was supposed to hear an amendment to the development agreement for the Yahoo! Center at its meeting Wednesday, but the matter got moved when illness and scheduling conflicts reduced the number of available commissioners to four. It’s the... Read more →

City Council

Developers balk at zoning law extension

CITY HALL — City Council members voted to extend an interim ordinance that expands City Hall’s ability to oversee development projects in Downtown that are taller than 32 feet, but not without some alarm from at least one developer who threatened to sue if the approvals on existing projects changed. The ordinance requires... Read more →


Suspect says he stole clothes because he was naked

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. Sunday, April 24, at 6 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 2400 block of La Mesa Drive regarding a report of an attempted residential... Read more →


Mammal center looks for home for blind sea lion

LOS ANGELES — It costs $100 a day to feed Big Guy, a 750-pound, blind sea lion that has been living at Southern California’s Marine Mammal Care Center for 15 months. That isn’t the main reason he has to leave though. The center is a hospital, not a hotel, and they’ve done all they can for him except find him a new... Read more →