City Council

Council to vote on sales tax increase

CITY HALL — Santa Monica voters in November could decide whether to increase the local sales tax by a half percent, a move that would bring in an estimated $13 million per year in additional revenue for City Hall. The City Council on Tuesday is set to consider placing the measure on the Nov. 2 ballot. A majority on the seven-member... Read more →


Boxer defends stimulus bill, praises Big Blue

COLORADO AVENUE — In the midst of a tight re-election race, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stopped by the Big Blue Bus maintenance facility on Friday to defend the federal stimulus bill, highlighting Santa Monica’s use of federal funds to create jobs by purchasing new, hybrid buses. “We are here today because the Big Blue... Read more →


Campaign for schools enlists Hollywood stars

As “Save Our Schools,” the emergency fundraising initiative to support Santa Monica and Malibu schools in light of state budget cuts, enters its third week, more than one third of the target amount of money has been raised to restore third grade class sizes, while the initiative forms new partnerships to promote the fundraising... Read more →


Repeat offender busted for burglary

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. Monday, June 21, at 9:27 a.m. Santa Monica officers responded to the 1600 block of Ocean Park Boulevard (Bob’s Market) regarding a combative... Read more →


SMC receives nearly $5M for job training classes

SMC — Santa Monica College’s job training classes are about to get a big boost. A federal grant of a little more than $4.87 million has been awarded to SMC to help train people in the recycling and resource management field. According to Laurel McQuay-Peninger, SMC’s director of grants, the funds will be used as a... Read more →


Plane out of SMO crashes in Venice

LOS ANGELES — Authorities say a pilot has died in the crash of a small plane on a Los Angeles golf course. The plane had departed from Santa Monica Airport. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says the man was the only person on board the plane, which slammed into some trees near the 8th hole of the Penmar Golf Course in... Read more →

City Council

Assistant city manager abruptly resigns

CITY HALL — Jennifer Phillips, the assistant city manager who oversaw Santa Monica’s planning, library, community and cultural services, economic development and public works departments, resigned on Wednesday after an 18-month tenure at City Hall. The announcement from City Manager Rod Gould came at 5 p.m. on Wednesday in an... Read more →


Local man to stand trial for murder

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A Santa Monica man was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on charges that he murdered two women, including a young fashion designer who had dated actor Ashton Kutcher. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson found sufficient evidence to require 34-year-old Michael Thomas Gargiulo to proceed to trial for the... Read more →

City Council

Measures to boost sales tax considered

CITY HALL — With a projected budget gap as high as $53 million by 2015, City Hall officials are considering whether to ask residents to approve a half cent sales tax increase or a property transfer tax hike this November to boost revenue and avoid cuts to services. Santa Monica’s City Council would have to decide whether to place... Read more →


Helping drivers, bikers share road

14th STREET — A new marking known as a “sharrow,” short for “shared lane arrow,” was recently installed on 14th Street between Montana and Washington avenues as a way to remind cyclists and drivers alike that the road is a shared space for both modes of travel, city officials said. The street marking is a white... Read more →


Transitioning from fighting to farming

DOWNTOWN — Phil Northcutt’s path to agricultural work was a self-described “wild story” and “spiritual journey.” Northcutt joined the U.S. Marine Corps after finding work in the music industry unsatisfying. He came back from Iraq a few years ago injured and in pain and became addicted to prescription... Read more →


Celebrate safely this Fourth of July

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — As the July 4 holiday approaches, the Santa Monica fire and police departments remind everyone that all types of fireworks are illegal in the city. This includes so-called “safe and sane” fireworks, which may not be used, even if they are legal in the city in which they are purchased. Permanent... Read more →


Pier smoking ban considered

SM PIER — Continuing a trend toward stricter anti-smoking rules in town, officials are set to consider an outright ban on lighting up at the Santa Monica Pier, citing concern that discarded cigarettes pose a fire risk. Smoking on the family-friendly pier is already confined to seven designated areas, but there’s a growing... Read more →

City Council

City Hall surveys interest in boosting coffers

CITY HALL — Despite a balanced budget for the next fiscal year, City Hall officials are looking into options to boost revenue by possibly asking voters to approve one or more ballot measures this November. City Hall on Sunday began polling residents by phone about their support for possible “revenue enhancements” that could... Read more →

City Council

Winners announced in SM Teen Film Fest

CITY HALL — The results are in! Judges with the Fifth Annual Santa Monica Teen Film Festival sifted through more than 180 submissions from across the country and Canada and screened 33 films over two days to award top honors to Harry Keenan and Max Groel of Pacific Palisades for their film. “Batman Starts,” a humorous... Read more →