News

Report: Rape kits go untested

DOWNTOWN — More than 12,000 rape kits — the physical evidence collected after a sexual assault — have yet to be tested in Los Angeles County, with 485 in the custody of the Santa Monica Police Department, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The 68-page report, “Testing Justice: The Rape Kit Backlog in Los... Read more →

City Council

Big Blue Bus hit with hefty fine

CITY HALL — Santa Monica might be one of the most environmentally-conscious cities in the country, but the community’s own public transit agency was recently hit with a $21,000 fine for some eco-unfriendly practices. The California Air Resources Board on Monday announced that it fined the Big Blue Bus for failing to test, measure... Read more →

News

City Hall a parking pooper?

SM BEACH — There’s a misunderstanding between City Hall, the Surfrider Foundation and Heal the Bay as to what benefits the environment more — having lots of people drive to beach cleanups every month or having fewer cleanups in exchange for less driving. Two weekends ago, the Surfrider Foundation had its first Santa Monica... Read more →

News

City Hall explores pairing property owners with gardeners

MAIN STREET — For several hours every week, life for Helene Zuckerman is confined to a 400-square-foot retreat. It is in the small nook of the Santa Monica Community Gardens on Main Street where Zuckerman cultivates her own produce section, covering nearly every inch with fruits and vegetables, from the blackberries sprawled along... Read more →

Environment

Gas stations bad neighbors

Dear EarthTalk: I am looking at possibly buying a house that is very close to a gasoline station. Is it safe to live so close to a gas station? What concerns should I have? I have toddler and infant babies. — Ranjeeta, Houston, TX Despite all the modern health and safety guidelines they must follow, gas stations can still pose... Read more →

Education

Mencia cancellation leads to policy changes

JAMS — There were plenty of emotions and clashes of opinion, all expected in a heated conversation about free speech that’s further complicated by the sensitive issue of race. While a three-hour meeting addressing possible revisions to the school district’s event permit policy — a response to the last-minute... Read more →

Crime

Cozi Couch closes doors

DOWNTOWN — Dusk had fallen when Jaime Seoane, an employee of Cozi Couch Washable Luxury, finally arrived at the store on Thursday. He came with a U-Haul. The store is now an empty shell, with just piles of haphazardly stacked pillows atop stray bits of furniture and a sky blue sign in the back that reads: “We reserve the right... Read more →

Crime

Family of slain SM man still searching for answers

DOWNTOWN L.A. — The family of a Santa Monica man who was shot and killed here just weeks before he was to graduate Cal State Northridge are asking for the public’s help in identifying the killer, hosting a rally at the murder scene Sunday in hopes that someone will come forward with more information about the crime. Clifton... Read more →

News

Getting in the last word

EASTSIDE — Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the city’s leading political party that holds a majority on the City Council and other elected boards here, is opposed to building a maintenance yard for the Exposition Light Rail line in a residential neighborhood adjacent to Stewart Street Park. The politically-influential... Read more →

News

Making progress on the homeless front

DOWNTOWN — In a city that long ago developed a reputation of generosity toward the homeless population, given the moniker as the “home of the homeless,” a one-year-old approach to pay more focused and proactive attention to the issue has apparently led to noticeable results. That approach — the Action Plan to Address... Read more →

Crime

Narcs nab heroin dealers

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica narcotics detectives, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seized over two pounds of black tar heroin and arrested two people believed responsible for running a drug dealing operation that covered much of the Westside. Authorities on Friday released the names of the two suspects,... Read more →

City Council

Dry cleaning regulations could pose problems

CITY HALL — Concerned about the environmental impact of harsh dry cleaning chemicals, city officials are considering developing regulations that would force local shop owners to use non-toxic solvents and green methods. The City Council on Tuesday requested its staff to explore dry cleaning alternatives and prepare an ordinance... Read more →

Briefs

Living in the dark

On Saturday, Santa Monica goes dark. City Hall, along with many residents and businesses, will participate in Earth Hour 2009, a global event to raise awareness about our energy use and how it affects climate change. Residents and businesses are encouraged to turn off all lights and appliances from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday to show... Read more →

Education

Local man raises money for leukemia patients

ROOSEVELT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL — In 2007, Tyler Cordova went to the doctor with cold symptoms and was sent home. When he woke one night unable to breathe, he was rushed to the emergency room and the diagnosis changed. Six-year-old Tyler had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a deadly blood cancer. Tyler and 10-year-old Kelly Delaney, who has leukemia,... Read more →

Crime

Officers in need of some backup

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police officers need the public’s help, but this time it’s not to identify a hit-and-run driver or a suspect in a robbery. It’s to help save the lives of those suffering from Leukemia and other diseases in which the only cure is a bone marrow transplant. In connection with the... Read more →