Hostelling International celebrates 100 years

DOWNTOWN — There are few places in the world where a Cameroonian medical student can have a conversation with an Australian nurse, while watching a British tax accountant chase his young children past a Swedish backpacker exchanging phone numbers with her new Japanese friend. But on Saturday, at Santa Monica’s branch of... Read more →


Crime stats reveal an increase in incidents

DOWNTOWN — Crime has been on the rise in Santa Monica during the first seven months of 2009, the 19 percent increase fueled by property crimes, with auto and bike thefts and shoplifting being the main contributing factors, according to figures released by the Santa Monica Police Department. From January to July 2009, there have been... Read more →


Just what is organic?

Last night, I had a dream about an army of cotton T-shirts that called themselves the Beneficial Organic Brigade. For more efficient marketing, they went by B.O.B. This band of T-shirts was singing at some kind of sustainable benefit concert in the middle of the Third Street Promenade. Resembling the green T-shirt that I recently purchased... Read more →


Orcas swimming into big trouble

Dear EarthTalk How are populations of the world’s orca whales faring these days? Are we still in danger of losing them all in the wild? J. Witham Bangor, ME The largest member of the dolphin family and a major draw at marine parks, orcas (also known as “killer whales”) are highly intelligent and social marine mammals that,... Read more →


Coyote ugly

DOUGLAS PARK — For 13 years, Wally the cat was the king of the neighborhood. “He was just mister stud cat,” said his owner, Kristin Rotblatt, who lives near Douglas Park just north of Wilshire Boulevard. “He was very sweet to us, but he never took any crap.” Wally met his untimely death earlier this month —... Read more →


A change at the very top

SMC — After 15 years at the helm, Santa Monica College’s head football Coach Robert Taylor has been dismissed from the program amid allegations of recruiting violations that involved student athletes receiving special financial incentives that were not extended to the rest of the campus population. Sources said Taylor changed... Read more →


Achievement gap persists, but narrows

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The much talked about academic achievement gap between African-American and Latino students and their Asian and Caucasian peers is slowly narrowing. Such is reflected in the recent release of the state’s Standardized Academic Reporting and Testing Program (STAR) which showed that both African-American and Latino... Read more →


Filming on the decline in Santa Monica

SM PIER — The lights haven’t been shining as brightly, the cameras rolling a bit more slowly and the action subdued a few notches. A picturesque city that’s been a Hollywood favorite for decades, playing the role of the typical sunny and beautiful Southern California beach town, has seen interest wavering from film... Read more →


Elderly man pulls cane, then gun

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, Aug. 13, at 5:02 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 2800 block of Ocean Front Walk regarding an assault with a deadly weapon.... Read more →


Getting Farmers’ Market fresh comes easy

Editor’s Note: This is a series in which Daily Press writers overhear and observe happenings around Santa Monica. DOWNTOWN — It’s like a gorgeous sunset on a cold, gray morning. The bright glow of oranges and peaches stands out against the rich purple of berries and plums that line the booths of the Farmers’ Market... Read more →


Enjoying art on two wheels

MICHIGAN AVENUE — There won’t be a cancer-surviving superstar cyclist or sights of the French countryside but the inaugural Tour da Arts in Santa Monica promises to highlight some of the biggest cultural landmarks in the city. More than 100 people are expected to show up for the Santa Monica Museum of Arts’ (SMMOA) event... Read more →


Brownley calls for repeal of Defense of Marriage Act

SACRAMENTO — There are more than 18,000 same-sex couples who are legally married in California yet don’t have access to more than 1,000 federal rights afforded to heterosexual couples. That’s according to Assembly members Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) whose resolution to call on President... Read more →


The benefits of unemployment

CITYWIDE — Perhaps the recession isn’t all bad. For the most part, Santa Monica non-profits have noticed a spike in the number of people willing and available to volunteer their time despite the tough economic times. At WISE & Healthy Aging, volunteer numbers have increased twofold in the past year, Director of Volunteer... Read more →


USPS searches for buyers of Venice facility

VENICE — A local mail processing center could be the latest victim of the economic downturn. Facing an overall decline in customer volume from the advances in mail technology and more recently exacerbated by the recession, the United State Postal Service (USPS) has begun re-evaluating its operations, including looking into... Read more →


Closing a chapter

Book worms who frequent the Ocean Park Branch Library will have to go elsewhere to get their literary fix. City officials are closing the library, located at 2601 Main Street, to complete interior improvements. The library will be closed beginning Saturday, Aug. 22 and will reopen Monday, Aug. 31. The improvements feature the creation of a... Read more →