Major changes ahead for Downtown parking

CITY HALL — Parking in Santa Monica will get a facelift between now and 2014 with several major structures going off-line, the creation of temporary parking facilities throughout town and a slew of incentives to encourage locals to park further from Downtown. The City Council approved measures that allow staff to study and adapt to... Read more →


Diving into Santa Monica’s history

There are not many places like Santa Monica. It’s both an international destination and a sleepy beach town. It’s a haven for innovation and invention while also proudly keeping true to its small-town roots. I have been involved in this community since I arrived in 1990 and have become fascinated by this city and its rich,... Read more →


School district, Malibu parents working toward peace

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials and Malibu-area parents are working together to strengthen bonds of communication between the two groups, which have found themselves at odds in recent years. Superintendent Tim Cuneo and three school board members met with Malibu parents last Wednesday to talk about... Read more →


Cleaning up the fish kill

SM BAY — Santa Monica’s Heal the Bay is looking for volunteers who don’t mind the smell of a few million dead sardines. With the massive fish kill in Redondo’s King Harbor earlier this week, the most pressing issue now is the clean-up, officials with the environmental watchdog said Wednesday. It’s critical that... Read more →


Plastic bag ban takes effect

CITYWIDE — Today marks the official start-date of Santa Monica’s one-use bag ban, although enforcement will not begin until Sept. 1. After that date, a 10-cent fee will be placed on each bag used. The six-month grace period will allow retailers to use up the plastic and paper bags they already have in stock, and do research on... Read more →


Santa Monica’s population grows slightly since 2000

DOWNTOWN — The number of people who can call Santa Monica home grew slightly over the last 10 years, from 84,084 to 89,735, representing a 6.7 percent increase, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those residents, 77,156 are over the age of 18, according to the 2010 Census. There are 11,716 Hispanic or... Read more →


Union rep raises yellow flag on layoffs

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District may run into legal problems if it tries to lay off six nurses the Board of Education approved for pink slips in February, a labor union representative said. The cuts would reduce the nursing staff to four. If the nurses are let go, the district has considered hiring... Read more →


Paperless plan check, dark fiber lead to technology award

For the 12th straight year City Hall took home two Technology Solutions Awards and received a Significant Achievement Award from the Public Technology Institute. City Hall was recognized for its new paperless plan check review process, a digital workers’ comp and liability claims filing system, and its ring of dark fiber which links... Read more →


Hazardous waste collection on hold

City officials were forced to postpone a planned transition to a door-to-door hazardous waste collection program pending final approval by the County of Los Angeles. City Hall is working to provide the county with all necessary information in order to resume the collection program as soon as possible, said Andrew Basmajian, communications... Read more →

City Council

Fogarty steps down as planning director

CITY HALL — Santa Monica’s planning director is resigning, even as City Hall faces major challenges in applying the land use plan that she most notably shepherded into existence. Eileen Fogarty, who has led the Department of Planning and Community Development for the last four and a half years, will make her exit in May, according... Read more →

City Council

Labor agreement holds up beach hotel’s sale

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 →


Local woman nears the big 100

For some people, age is just a number. For Raquel Paez, it’s a pretty big one. The 16-year resident of Santa Monica turns 100 this month, and remains a marvel of independence despite her advanced years. Friday, amid well-wishing banners and a large plate of red velvet cake served at the Senior Luncheon at St. Monica’s Catholic... Read more →


On the road to food safety

Dear EarthTalk: What specific issues and protections are covered by the Food Safety Modernization Act recently signed into law? P. Palmerino, New York, NY Existing laws and oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have done a decent job of keeping the vast majority of Americans safe from food borne illnesses, but several... Read more →


Bay Cities goes solar

LINCOLN BLVD One of Santa Monica’s most popular delis took a giant step towards sustainability, installing 96 high-performance solar panels on its roof. Bay Cities Italian Deli, home of the famous Godmother sandwich, expects to reduce energy costs that will save it more than $5,000 in the first year, with a projected electricity bill... Read more →


Parents postpone Pt. Dume charter appeal

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Three kindergarten teaching positions are off the chopping block after petitioners to make Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School a charter school announced they would not appeal their case to the state, yet. Superintendent Tim Cuneo told the Board of Education at its meeting Thursday that although he’d... Read more →