Hidden dangers of soy

Dear Earth Talk How healthy is soy? I heard that, despite its healthy image, most soy is grown using chemicals like other crops and is even being genetically modified. D. Frinka Syracuse, NY Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a... Read more →


Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

CITYWIDE — The state of California has a well-established record of pushing against national opinion on rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals, and now Santa Monica has taken one more meaningful step toward banning discrimination within its own city limits. The City Council joined seven other California cities... Read more →


School district’s lunch program gets high marks

SMMUSD HDQTRS — School lunches are not what they used to be. Gone are the days of deep-fried mozzarella sticks with a suggestion of vegetable in the marinara sauce. Soda, fizzed away. Even the mystery has been taken out of meat. State and federal standards put in place over the last decades have sought to improve the quality of food... Read more →


19 arrested in Venice anti-gang sting

LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities say 19 people have been arrested for alleged firearms and drug crimes in an anti-gang sting that involved a Venice tattoo parlor run by undercover agents. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Wednesday that “Operation Villainz Ink” targeted alleged members of the... Read more →


Team takes third place in national science bowl

A team of four Santa Monica High School students took third at the National Ocean Science Bowl competition in Galveston, Tex. over the weekend. Mari LeGagnoux, Madeleine Youngs, Zach Gold and Dana Ritchie beat out 21 other teams in the buzzer battle which put them up against other teens that specialize in a very specific subset of science... Read more →


Transient arrested in Culver City double murder

DOWNTOWN — A 31-year-old homeless man was in custody Thursday for allegedly murdering a Santa Monica woman and an elderly man whose bodies were found in the older victim’s Culver City home, police said. Zackariah Lehnen, 30, knew the victims, but the exact relationship was not disclosed by police. Lehnen was arrested at 1:30 a.m.... Read more →


Scrubbing the wrong way

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, May 1, at 2:27 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1600 block of the beach after receiving a report of a man exposing himself... Read more →


Big Blue Bus system could see digital advertising

SACRAMENTO — The California State Assembly passed a bill Thursday by an overwhelming majority that would allow Santa Monica to install digital advertising on the sides of its buses as part of a five-year pilot program. The bill, authored by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D- Santa Monica), would give the Big Blue Bus system the... Read more →


Harvard recognizes city’s fiber optic network

Santa Monica’s 10-gigabit fiber optic network, also known as City Net, was selected as one of the top 25 “Innovations in Government” by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. The program was selected for this award in the economic development category for the network’s effectiveness in attracting technology... Read more →


SMC student to ‘get on the bus’

SMC — Over the course of six months in 1961, more than 400 people, both black and white, risked life and limb while traveling on buses and trains through the Jim Crow South to challenge segregation laws. Those men and women became known as the Freedom Riders, and the repeal of the repressive segregation laws through their efforts was... Read more →


Police say nude woman attempted suicide

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — A Santa Monica woman who was seen dancing naked on top of a roughly five-story building on Main Street threw herself off in an apparent suicide attempt, police said. Raisa Shamailovna Danilova, 27, was in critical but stable condition Thursday, a day after several people watched as she climbed to the ledge of... Read more →


School district may announce new superintendent next week

The Board of Education will likely announce the identity of the new superintendent of schools at a special meeting scheduled for next Monday. The timing of the announcement depends on how quickly the district can wrap up contract negotiations with the individual, who was selected after a series of interviews, background checks and site... Read more →


Nude woman falls from Main Street building

MAIN STREET — A naked woman seen dancing on the roof of a building on Main Street Wednesday fell several stories and suffered significant injuries to her body and head, Santa Monica police said. The victim, an Asian in her mid to late 20s with a shaved head, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition with compound... Read more →


Turning a cannery into a casino

In 1929, an odd flotilla of motorless ships began to appear off the coast of Santa Monica. These strange vessels were not built for speed, power or maneuverability. They were constructed for only one reason: gambling. Although gambling had been outlawed in California, the state's jurisdiction only extended 3 miles offshore. And since there... Read more →