Founder of puppetry center dies

DOWNTOWN — Steve Meltzer, the founder of the Santa Monica Puppetry Center, which entertained scores of children and their parents for more than a dozen years, has died. He was 56. Just two hours after performing his final show and permanently closing his puppetry center Aug. 16 as it fell victim to the economic downturn, Meltzer had a... Read more →


Finkel at the helm of the SMC board

Retired Superior Court judge David B. Finkel has been elected chair and Dr. Andew Walzer vice chair of the Santa Monica Community College board for 2010. This is the first time that these trustees, both elected in 2006, have been selected for these leadership posts, which rotate annually. Finkel succeeds Louise Jaffe as chair and Walzer... Read more →


Baby Jesus is back

The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes this Sunday will open its annual, interdenominational display featuring moments leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. The display runs along Palisades Park, with the kick-off taking place at 4 p.m. at Ocean and Arizona avenues. The display, which started in 1953, now includes 14 scenes with life-size... Read more →


Firefighter injured

A firefighter received minor injuries battling a blaze at a house here on Wednesday, officials said. More than 40 Santa Monica firefighters, with assistance from Los Angeles firefighters, were called to 1334 Ashland Ave. just before 1 p.m., said Suzanne Post of the Santa Monica Fire Department. No one was at home at the time. Knockdown took... Read more →


New departure rules go online at SM Airport

SUNSET PARK — A new set of departure rules meant to cut down on idle times at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) went into effect Thursday, officials with the FAA said. The new rules aim to minimize idling and pollution which often results from overlap between the departure times at SMO and LAX. A handful of piston-powered planes that depart... Read more →


Two busted for heroin possession

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. Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 9:49 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1900 block of Alley 11 regarding a suspicious vehicle. When officers... Read more →


Samohi student awarded

After months of hard environmental work, Santa Monica High School senior Megan Kilroy is reaping the rewards — rewards other than the knowledge of having saved the lives of animals and people alike. Kilroy is a recipient of a HALO (Helping And Leading Others) award and will appear on cable network Nickelodeon today at 5 p.m. in the... Read more →


New home for the hall

The Santa Monica Museum of Flying will be the home of a newly-created California Aviation Hall of Fame. Officials with the museum, which is expected to open in the spring or summer of 2010 after a $2 million expansion and remodel, made the announcement Thursday. “We are honored to have the opportunity to present and preserve this... Read more →


Rabbi says promenade menorah ‘not the real deal’

DOWNTOWN — For many years, Chabad of Santa Monica was the sole keeper of the Chanukah menorah on the Third Street Promenade. Hundreds would gather as the group lit its oil-fueled, traditional menorah in the middle of the promenade’s Center Court each night of the holiday. But two years ago, Bayside District Corp., the... Read more →


Stimulus funding felt locally

CITYWIDE — From its prime location on the sand north of the Santa Monica Pier, Back on the Beach restaurant seems about as far from Wall Street and the financial crisis as you can get. But when panic over sub-prime loan losses caused banks last fall to pump the brakes on small business loans, Back on the Beach co-owner Fred Deni... Read more →

City Council

Contractor busted in remodel scam

CITY HALL — A Santa Monica contractor has been convicted on criminal charges stemming from two remodeling jobs in which he took $18,000 in downpayments but refused to complete the work or return the money, city officials said Thursday. Hosayn Mandi, owner of New Line Interiors, formerly located on Lincoln Boulevard, was convicted last... Read more →


Say cheese

Underwater photographers are encouraged to submit pictures to Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for its “Underwater Parks Day” photo competition, a contest designed to highlight the undersea world just off the Southern California coast. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. Only one entry per person,... Read more →


Reach out to librarians

Bookworms who want to connect with their local libraries have some new numbers to dial. City Hall has created new public phone numbers for three library branches. The new listings are: n Fairview Branch (310) 458-8681 n Montana Avenue Branch Library (310) 458-8682 n Ocean Park Branch (310) 458-8683 Phone numbers for the Main Library remain... Read more →


State Supreme Court to hear Black Widows appeal

DOWNTOWN — A former Santa Monica landlord who is serving a life sentence for the murders of two homeless men for financial gain may have another shot at proving her innocence. The California Supreme Court agreed last week to hear an appeal filed by Helen Golay, 78, whose attorney claims her Sixth Amendment rights were violated during... Read more →


Study: Businesses not harmed by emissions bill

CITYWIDE — As California works to implement the state climate change law known as AB 32 — aimed at reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — some small business owners have complained they’ll bear the brunt of the new regulations and the state’s economy will pay the price. But a new study that analyzed... Read more →