‘Survivor’ champ arrested in Santa Monica

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police said Thursday that Judson Birza, the million dollar winner of “Survivor: Nicaragua” just one month ago, was arrested around noon on Wednesday while riding his skateboard in the middle of the street. Birza was detained for a vehicle code violation. Officers ran his name through a database... Read more →


Businesses on board with proposed plastic bag ban

MAIN LIBRARY — If there are opponents in Santa Monica’s business community of the proposed law banning stores from giving out free single-use plastic bags, they haven’t made themselves known to the local Chamber of Commerce. At an informational session about the proposed ban the business group held on Wednesday morning at... Read more →

City Council

Council abandons mandatory bike registration law

CITY HALL — The City Council on Monday decided to do away with a law that few people were following anyway, voting to repeal a long-standing requirement that Santa Monica residents register their bicycles at City Hall. The law, intended to discourage theft and help cyclists recover stolen bicycles, was viewed by many bike advocates as... Read more →


Funeral services set for Samohi freshman

DOWNTOWN Services planned A service for Matthew Mezza will be held today at 3 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, located at 6001 W. Centinela Ave. in Los Angeles. Mezza, 14, died on Friday after jumping from an upper floor of the Sheraton Delfina Hotel. The family has asked that donations in Mezza’s honor be made to either... Read more →

City Council

New emergency alert system approved

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of... Read more →


Gathering emphasizes legacy of MLK’s message, teachings

WILSHIRE BLVD. — The ceremony in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, held at the World Culture Center Auditorium here on Monday, became more than a remembrance — it was also a call to community involvement in light of the recent shootings in Tucson and the suicide of a local 14-year-old boy that has shaken many in... Read more →


SMPD assists in ‘major’ drug bust

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Two men were booked into the Santa Monica jail on drug charges after a multi-agency task force seized 47 kilos of cocaine and $2.3 million in cash, police said Monday. Federal agents and local police officers uncovered cocaine and cash Wednesday at a warehouse in Valencia after serving three search warrants... Read more →


Shop, blog, win

In an effort to get Santa Monicans to shop in their neighborhoods, the Buy Local Santa Monica Committee has launched the 3/50 Project Challenge that invites people to blog about their three favorite local, independently-owned business in exchange for a chance to win prizes. To be eligible for a prize from one of the Buy Local partners,... Read more →


Shots ring out near cemetery

PICO NEIGHBORHOOD — Police are investigating a possible gang-related shooting that erupted here Sunday night following a brawl that involved 20 to 30 black and Hispanic men who gathered near Woodlawn Cemetery, an area known for gang activity. SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler said several shots were fired but there were no victims at the scene... Read more →


Special school board meeting called

The school board will hold a special meeting this Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. at district headquarters (1651 16th St.) to discuss and agree on a timeline for the search of a new superintendent to replace Tim Cuneo, who is retiring in June. The special meeting with search firm Leadership Associates is the first step in the hiring process. The... Read more →


Tuesday’s top events

Yuk it with seniors today at the Senior Recreation Center during its weekly improv workshop. ‘Tijuaneados Anonimos’ Fairview Branch Library 2101 Ocean Park Blvd., 7 p.m. “Tijuaneados Anonimos” is a documentary about a group of people who get together every week in Tijuana to share their experiences living with the... Read more →


Cops bust three for burglary

Police arrested three men Sunday morning for allegedly trying to break into a guest house in the 2300 block of 21st Street. SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler said a resident saw the suspects and called police. Officers responded shortly after 4 a.m. and saw the suspects jump over a fence and into an adjacent alley. Officers pursued the suspects on foot... Read more →


Saving the fish

Dear EarthTalk: What is being done to enable ocean fish populations to rebound after being so over-fished? Are nations coming together on this in any way? — Deborah Kay, Milford, Conn. There is no overarching international agreement to limit overfishing globally, but a few governments have been able to implement and enforce... Read more →