News

Volunteers help deter crime

DOWNTOWN — As holiday shopping crowds have swarmed the Third Street Promenade in recent weeks, the Santa Monica Police Department has beefed up its Downtown presence, thanks in part to a handful of volunteers. Graduates of the department’s “citizens academy” have been staffing an information booth on the promenade... Read more →

News

Chess program loses home at Fairview library

FAIRVIEW LIBRARY — In many respects, the group’s members have little in common. They range in age from 3-and-a-half to 92 and speak a variety of different languages — Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Hindi, to name a few. Some are casual dabblers, others are master practitioners. But for the past five years, each Thursday... Read more →

News

‘Sesame Street’ star Alaina Reed-Amini dead at 63

MID-CITY — Alaina Reed-Amini, the Broadway star and TV actress best known for her long-running roles on “Sesame Street” and “227,” has died. She was 63. Publicist Billy Laurence says Reed-Amini died Thursday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Previously... Read more →

News

Ups and downs for Christmas tree lots

CITYWIDE — Even for families that are cutting down on holiday expenses, oftentimes a Christmas tree is something they simply can’t do without. As a cherished symbol of the season — and an often expensive luxury item — the Christmas tree market is a unique economic bellwether that can provide a special insight into... Read more →

Environment

Stimulus bucks help businesses go green

Dear EarthTalk I’ve been following reports about President Obama’s stimulus package and what it may mean for creating green jobs. Beyond that, are there programs in place to help businesses switch to greener raw materials and/or to green up operations overall? Diane via e-mail Even though the push to create green jobs is... Read more →

News

FirstFed latest bank to fail

DOWNTOWN — First Federal Bank of California, a fixture in Santa Monica for 80 years and one of the oldest and largest financial institutions in Los Angeles, has become the latest victim of the volatile real estate market, forced to close its doors Friday by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision. FirstFed Financial Corp. was unable... Read more →

Crime

Police foil murder-for-hire plot

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — A Santa Monica man on Friday was charged with trying to hire someone to kill a former business partner, police said. Paul Harwood, 54, was charged with two counts of solicitation of murder and for possession of and manufacturing cocaine, said SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler. The intended victim was not injured and there... Read more →

News

Garner’s accused stalker charged

A man accused of stalking actress Jennifer Garner and her husband, actor Ben Affleck, was charged Thursday with two counts of felony stalking and two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order. Steven Richard Burky, 37, was arrested at 9:05 a.m. Monday at a nursery school in the 1200 block of Alley One, at the rear of the First... Read more →

News

Delays won’t derail Expo project

DOWNTOWN — Despite delays and cost overruns during Phase One of the Expo Light Rail project, which is expected to link Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles by 2015, City Hall officials and mass transit supporters remain confident the project is on track. The environmental impact report for the rail line’s second phase — the... Read more →

Crime

Injured pedestrian dies in hospital

DOWNTOWN — An 82-year-old Santa Monica resident hit by a motorist earlier this week died Thursday as a result of his injuries, police said. The pedestrian was struck Dec. 15 at 11:50 a.m. while crossing 18th Street and California Avenue, police said. He was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition. The initial... Read more →

News

New ER begins receiving patients

ST. JOHN’S HEALTH CENTER — Just about everything has to happen quickly in emergency medicine, so perhaps the plan to move the entire St. John’s Health Center ER staff to its new digs in the recently certified Howard Keck Center overnight should come as no surprise. At 1 a.m. today, doctors and nurses were scheduled to make... Read more →

News

Pub crawl unites revelers for a good cause

DOWNTOWN — Raise your glasses for charity. This weekend Westside Food Bank is the beneficiary of Santa Monica's first annual pub crawl, which will take place on Dec. 19 starting at 5 p.m. More than a dozen bars and restaurants throughout the city will be participating in an attempt to spread holiday cheer and promote a worthy... Read more →

Crime

‘Tis the season to shoplift

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, Dec. 13, at 11:35 a.m., Officers responded to the 300 block of Colorado Avenue — Sears — regarding shoplifting suspects in custody.... Read more →

Crime

Police chief extends 3-12 work week

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica Police Chief Tim Jackman has extended for one month a pilot program in which rank-and-file officers work three, 12.5-hour days instead of the traditional 10 hour, four days a week schedule, a move that is expected to raise morale while putting more officers on the streets at times when they are... Read more →

Briefs

Rain delay

There’s no need to water the lawn these days thanks to the recent rain storm that drenched the city. That’s according to City Hall’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment, which is recommending all property owners to shut off irrigation systems for the coming weeks. City officials would like for people to adjust... Read more →