News

People say Bulger liked to visit Santa Monica Pier

SM PIER — Although some have described fugitive Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger as a recluse, he apparently did enjoy hanging out at the historic Santa Monica Pier, where one man says he recognized Bulger in 2008 and contacted the television show “America’s Most Wanted.” Keith Messina of Las Vegas... Read more →

Crime

Father’s Day brunch turns violent

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, June 19, at 11:45 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1500 block of Ocean Avenue — I Cugini restaurant — regarding... Read more →

City Council

Council signs off on $523.7M budget

CITY HALL — Santa Monica’s streets will be cleaned, its alleyways policed and its citizenry prepared for disaster, at least for the next year. The City Council gave its final approval to a $523.7 million budget Tuesday night, a vote which City Manager Rod Gould described as “the single largest legislative act that the... Read more →

News

Boston mob boss was hiding in plain sight

SANTA MONICA — As the FBI chased leads on two continents, Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger spent nearly all of his 16 years on the lam in this quiet seaside city, passing himself off as just another elderly retiree, albeit one who kept a .357 Magnum and more than 100 rounds of ammunition in his modest... Read more →

Crime

Fugitive mobster Whitey Bulger busted in Santa Monica

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — James "Whitey" Bulger, a notorious Boston gangster on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for his alleged role in 19 murders, was captured Wednesday in Santa Monica after living on the run for 16 years, authorities said. Bulger, 81, was arrested at approximately 7 p.m. at a residence in the 1000... Read more →

News

ACLU faults VA plan for homeless vets

LOS ANGELES — Civil rights lawyers criticized a plan adopted Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a sprawling Los Angeles campus at the center of a lawsuit claiming the agency was failing to house homeless vets on the property as intended. The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center master plan does not include any commitment... Read more →

News

Memorial set for UCLA student killed in traffic accident

WESTWOOD — When Melissa Del Aguila found out that she had been accepted to the school of her dreams, UCLA, she didn’t just pick up the phone and call her parents. That wouldn’t be enough for the adventurous and passionate young woman who wanted to attend the Westwood campus ever since she was a kid growing up in Rowland... Read more →

Briefs

Summer on the promenade

Santa Monicans will have their pick of outings to choose from as the “DatingDowntown” and “Cinema on the Street” series will be launched in Downtown next month. DatingDowntown has organized events for couples every Saturday of July and August. Activities range from romantic novel readings and wine tastings to active... Read more →

Briefs

Pedroza takes job with other district

As the school year came to a close, Santa Monica High School Principal Dr. Hugo Pedroza served his final days as a Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District employee. Pedroza recently accepted a position as assistant superintendent with the Lompoc Unified School District. The reasons for his departure are currently unknown. “I found... Read more →

City Council

Food truck question labors on for council

CITY HALL — Tuesday night in front of the California Heritage Museum, a group of food trucks slung tacos and other eclectic fare to a crowd of hungry individuals and families that meandered up and down Main Street. At that moment, less than a mile away, the Santa Monica City Council was engaged in discussion to determine the fate of... Read more →

News

Couple sues City Hall over parking ticket

DOWNTOWN — What began as a typical dispute over a parking ticket has snowballed into a legal battle that could eventually involve dozens of drivers who challenged citations issued by the Santa Monica Police Department over the last two years. Residents Harriet and Stanley Epstein have filed a lawsuit against City Hall claiming they... Read more →

News

UCLA grad hit, killed on Wilshire

WILSHIRE BLVD — A recent UCLA graduate who was out celebrating with friends was struck and killed by a taxi driver as she tried to hail a cab on Wilshire Boulevard early Saturday morning, Santa Monica police said. The victim, 24-year-old Melissa Del-Aguila of West Los Angeles, was transported to a nearby hospital but was declared dead... Read more →

News

Watchdog takes a bite out of insurance industry

OCEAN PARK BLVD — Santa Monica-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog declared victory Tuesday in a class action lawsuit alleging insurer Anthem Blue Cross used rate hikes as a means of pushing patients into lower-benefit and higher deductible health plans. A California Superior Court Judge in Ventura County gave preliminary approval... Read more →

News

Murder suspect wants child to testify

SANTA MONICA — A reality television producer charged with killing his wife in Mexico will ask a U.S. federal judge to allow the couple’s 6-year-old daughter to testify at an upcoming extradition proceeding, his attorneys said Tuesday. They want the young girl to be allowed to testify that she did not see her parents arguing... Read more →

City Council

‘Frankenfish’ debate comes to Santa Monica

CITY HALL — The Food and Drug Administration is inching closer to approving the first genetically-modified animal for human consumption, and commercial fisherman, dietitians nor Santa Monica city officials are happy about it. The product, which one member of Congress derided as a “Frankenfish,” is a bioengineered Atlantic... Read more →