Man pleads not guilty in torture case

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A Santa Monica man is being held on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty Monday to charges that he tortured a mentally handicapped man and held him against his will for at least six months. Francisco Gerardo Rodriguez, 25, is facing one count of torture, one count of mayhem and one count of assault with a... Read more →


Musicians wanted for Main Street

City officials are holding a casting call for musical acts to perform over the next year at the Main Street Farmers’ Market. Applications can be submitted through the month of April. The deadline is April 29, at 5 p.m. Bands performing original and classic children’s music, as well as bands with original work are strongly... Read more →


Radiohead releases newspaper

A line of eager fans stretched from the Apple Store to J. Crew Tuesday awaiting the 1 p.m. release of “The Universal Sigh,” a newspaper put out by alternative band Radiohead to promote its newest album, “King of Limbs.” The 12-page broadsheet includes guest-written pieces by Robert MacFarlane, author of “The... Read more →

City Council

OIR report corrected in de la Torre probe

CITY HALL — Superintendent Tim Cuneo expressed his gratitude to City Hall Tuesday when he discovered a correction to the Office of Independent Review report stating that he did not give the Santa Monica Police Department a video of school board member Oscar de la Torre at a fight between two teens. City Hall posted the two-page... Read more →


Surfing for Japan

The owner of Perfect Day Surf Camp is planning to donate 100 percent of revenues from the spring break session to help children in Japan. The money will go to the Children’s Hunger Fund,, said Robbie French, owner of Perfect Day. In the past, French has dedicated time to inner-city kids, those with autism,... Read more →


Plans for new Fairmont Miramar unveiled

WILSHIRE BLVD — The owners of the historic Fairmont Miramar have big plans for the luxury hotel, including adding 12 times the current retail space, building condos for sale, as well as affordable housing, all while reducing the number of rooms available for guests. Representatives with the hotel unveiled their plans last week during a... Read more →


College sports: Sato family named to SMC Hall of Fame

SMC — The Sato family, long synonymous with volleyball, will be inducted into the Santa Monica College Sports Hall of Fame during a private ceremony on Thursday, officials with the college said. Eric, Liane and Gary Sato each made names for themselves both locally and nationally as part of the U.S. Olympic Team. “We are... Read more →


Letter carrier punches out after four decades

DOWNTOWN — On March 2, Bob Eisenhart hung up his hat at the Post Office on Santa Monica Boulevard for the last time after 43 years on the job. His union, the Letter Carriers 1107, gifted him with a gold watch to commemorate the event, and the office gave him a plaque before he walked out the door. He didn’t wait around long... Read more →


Teacher files appeal to block release of records

DOWNTOWN — A math teacher at Santa Monica High School who was found to have violated the school district’s sexual harassment policy has filed an appeal to block the release of his personnel records. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District was ordered to release the records earlier this month by Los Angeles Superior Court... Read more →


Food system needs to even out

Dear EarthTalk I understand a recent government report concluded that our global food system is in deep trouble, that roughly two billion people are hungry or undernourished while another billion are over consuming to the point of obesity. What’s going on? Ellie Francoeur Baton Rouge, La. The report in question, the Global Farming... Read more →


SMC to buy WISE & Healthy Aging’s Pico office

PICO BOULEVARD — Santa Monica College has entered into an agreement with WISE & Healthy Aging to buy the nonprofit senior service provider’s Pico Boulevard property for approximately $4 million, school officials confirmed. The building, at 1510 Pico Blvd., will be used for “swing space” for office workers and... Read more →


Community weighs in on future of large Downtown lot

MAIN LIBRARY — The sky was the limit Thursday night when community members packed the multipurpose room of the Main Library to chime in on the future of a 3-acre plot on Fifth Street at Arizona Avenue that is owned by City Hall. The site is centrally located in Downtown with a wide mix of businesses and attractions within a five minute... Read more →


Actor Josh Duhamel organizes run for Japan

First it was Haiti. Now it’s Japan. Actor Josh Duhamel is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross of Santa Monica to host a “Youth Run 4 Japan,” an earthquake/tsunami relief fundraiser that also aims to help kids get physically fit. The 2-mile run will be held on Santa Monica Beach Sunday morning — rain or... Read more →


JAMS students get the Spark of learning

JAMS — A week ago Wednesday, Brian Depablo, Kevin Quintero and Peter Duran left the John Adams Middle School campus and walked into the halls of Activision, a game development company with offices in Santa Monica. Armed with Activision dog tags and a nondisclosure agreement, the students were escorted to three separate wings of the... Read more →


Two arrested for allegedly torturing man

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police officers arrested two residents for allegedly holding a mentally handicapped man against his will for roughly six months, during which time they tortured him, causing him to lose 60 to 80 pounds and suffer severe injuries including numerous cuts and contusions over his entire body, including... Read more →