Businesses getting ready for the big one

RAND Corp. — They may have been small in magnitude, but recent earthquakes that have rattled floorboards in Santa Monica and beyond have also served as needed reminders that a large-scale disaster could happen any time. With just 14 percent of Americans prepared for such an event — and many local businesses without plans to cope... Read more →


It’s official: SMPD’s Sanchez headed to Pasadena

DOWNTOWN — Deputy Chief Phillip L. Sanchez will become the new police chief of Pasadena, effective July 11, it was announced this week. Sanchez, a 29-year-veteran of the SMPD, “has a strong background in police management and a reputation as a leader who is sensitive to community issues,” said Pasadena City Manager Michael... Read more →


Kids use lemonade stand to save teachers’ jobs

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The defeat last month of Measure A, the proposed parcel tax that would have generated $5.7 million per year for local public schools but failed to garner the required two-thirds support from voters, has parents and other school boosters scrambling to help out. More than 150 supporters have been attending meetings and... Read more →

City Council

Court decision could pave way for 19 evictions

CITY HALL — The owners of an apartment and hotel property in the Wilmont district could be allowed to evict 19 tenants under the Ellis Act and turn the units into hotel rooms despite having previously waived their right to do so, a state appellate court ruled this week. Issued on Monday, the decision was a loss for City Hall, which... Read more →


Heal the Bay named grand marshal of 4th of July parade

OCEAN PARK — Environmental watchdog Heal the Bay has been named this year’s grand marshal of the Santa Monica Main Street Fourth of July Parade, event organizers announced Tuesday. The 4 year-old parade is organized by the Ocean Park Association and attracted nearly 1,000 participants last year and an estimated 10,000 spectators... Read more →


New veterans home dedicated in West L.A.

VA CAMPUS — Nearly 400 elderly and disabled veterans will soon have a new housing and long-term care facility to call their own, following the official opening on Monday of the West Los Angeles Veterans Home. The $253 million facility is located on 17 acres in Westwood that the U.S. Veterans Administration gave to the state of... Read more →


Free parking measure makes ballot

SM BEACH — A trip to the beach is an inexpensive way to pass a summer day, and it could become even more recession-friendly if voters this November approve a proposed ballot initiative that would do away with parking fees for in-state drivers at all California state parks — including at Santa Monica’s state-owned beaches. Of... Read more →


Twilight Dance Series lineup announced

Santa Monica Pier officials announced the schedule for this summer’s Twilight Dance Series on Friday, unveiling an eclectic lineup with acts that play everything from classic rock to world music to something called Congolese Trance Dance-tronica. The Twilight Dance Series is an annual set of free concerts held at the Santa Monica Pier.... Read more →


Creating distance

Dear EarthTalk OK, so are cell phones emitting dangerous radiation or not? If so, which phones are safer that others and what do we do to minimize exposure? Luke Alderman Santa Fe, NM The jury is still out as to whether or not the radiation emitted by cell phones can cause negative health effects for callers. Mobile phones emit signals to... Read more →

City Council

AZ boycott could disrupt $3M mobile-home deal

CITY HALL — If you thought the Santa Monica City Council’s boycott of Arizona businesses was merely ceremonial, with few real-world implications, think again. It now appears that a proposed $3 million deal to acquire 20 manufactured homes for the City Hall-owned Mountain View Mobile Home Park could be at risk because of the... Read more →


Creating a new identity for Downtown

DOWNTOWN — Jonathan Dahms stumbled into living here four months ago. He knew nothing about the area, other than it was near Venice Beach. He now knows Downtown Santa Monica, with its popular restaurants and retail and its proximity to Palisades Park and the boardwalk, is the perfect place for him to live because he enjoys “the... Read more →


Texting leads to jealousy

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 6,12:37 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1400 block of 11th Street regarding a domestic violence call. Upon arrival,... Read more →


SMPD plans DUI checkpoint

The Santa Monica Police Department is planning a sobriety checkpoint tonight, a department press release stated. Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department will set up in the 1300 block of Ocean Avenue to check for drunk drivers and drivers license violations. This is the fifth of several checkpoints to be conducted over a 12-month... Read more →


Leaf blower justice

NOMA — The patrol car stops at the curb and the officers approach the suspect. They’ve caught him red handed, but the man, later identified as Jesus Duarte, doesn’t seem to know it. He calmly turns off his gas-powered leaf blower, which until seconds ago he had been using to beautify a yard in this posh North of Montana... Read more →