News

Nordstrom reaches out to women, minorities

PICO BLVD — For upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom, diversity goes beyond the collection sitting on its racks or the faces of employees manning the floor. With construction expected to break ground on the Seattle-based department store’s second Westside location this summer, Nordstrom officials heading the Santa Monica Place... Read more →

Briefs

Greenopia measures fast food restaurants

SUNSET PARK — Fast food isn’t always considered the healthiest option, but diners can now alleviate at least some of that guilt by eating green. Santa Monica-based Greenopia recently released a new rating system for the nation’s 23 most popular fast food restaurants, evaluating the eateries based on characteristics that... Read more →

Education

District considers increasing class sizes

SMMUSD HDQTRS — As school district officials continue to address a budget deficit caused by state funding cuts, one area likely to take a hit is class sizes. The teacher-to-student ratio is expected to increase at nearly every grade level and school starting in September, potentially saving the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School... Read more →

News

Fighting to survive

SM MOUNTAINS — These hills are under attack by foreign invaders. Fending off exotic plants, global warming and development are some of the challenges facing the park rangers stationed in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Luckily these rangers have some back up — students. Through the Parks as Classrooms... Read more →

City Council

City Hall considers building over freeway

<i>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... Read more →

News

Number of affordable apartments drops

CITY HALL A decade after a controversial state law allowed rent-controlled units to be set at market rate once they were vacated, the rental housing market in Santa Monica has become more expensive. That’s according to a recently-released report by the Rent Control Board about the impact that vacancy decontrol, which was enacted in... Read more →

News

Celebrating green businesses

DOWNTOWN — The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce will host the Sustainable Quality Awards luncheon on Wednesday to celebrate businesses who are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly. City Hall announced the 2009 award winners last week, doling out four SQA grand prize winners and six winners in the Excellence... Read more →

News

Man stands up against Ye Olde King’s Head

DOWNTOWN — He goes out nearly every weekend, carrying the same red and yellow double-sided sign, marching up and down the same block of Santa Monica Boulevard, handing out leaflets about his grievances against a local pub. Since November of 2007, F. Daniel Gray has been staging one-man weekend protests of Ye Olde King’s Head,... Read more →

Environment

Bumping up crops

Dear EarthTalk I want to start an organic vegetable garden in my yard and I would like to know how to combine crops to make better use of time and space. Val Thomason Denton, TX Most commercial farms concentrate on growing a few select crops to supply a wide variety of customers, but gardening at home is a different story entirely. Most... Read more →

News

A place to rest for the weary

FIFTH STREET — At 52 years old and living on his own, Craig Blasingane found himself in unfamiliar terrain. He might have in the past been an entrepreneur and owner of three houses, but when it came time to move into a single-room occupancy unit last month after spending eight years homeless, Blasingane just felt out of his element.... Read more →

City Council

City Hall faces tough budget decisions

CITY HALL — Faced with a projected budget deficit of nearly $10 million, City Manager Lamont Ewell has asked all city departments to trim 3 percent off individual budgets for the coming fiscal year and 5 percent for 2010-11. That means programs could be cut, capital improvement projects put on hold and positions left vacant. Department... Read more →

Crime

Sentencing delayed for convicted killers

DOWNTOWN L.A. — The sentencing of two gang members convicted last month of killing a Santa Monica residents at the Moose Lodge in 2005 was delayed on Friday. The court granted a request by lawyers for the defendants for a continuation to give them time to motion for a new trial. The new sentencing date is April 24. The decision to... Read more →

Education

Middle schoolers busted with pot

CALIFORNIA AVENUE — Administrators at Lincoln Middle School have suspended five students following a series of incidents that have involved drug-related arrests, cyberbullying and altercations reminiscent of the movie, “Fight Club.” Principal Suzanne Webb sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday letting them know of an... Read more →

Briefs

Be prepared

Following a recent case of accidental poisonings of children at a daycare in Arkansas, who were mistakenly served blue windshield-wiper fluid as Kool-Aid, Los Angeles County health officials are reminding residents to assess and ensure the safety of their homes. The warning comes during National Poison Prevention Week. Officials want... Read more →

News

Getting a piece of the big pie

DOWNTOWN — While it may not be the kind of “shovel ready” project that most people have in mind when they think of the $787 billion in stimulus funding meant to create much-needed jobs, the contract Big Blue Bus has to purchase 15 new hybrid buses is putting people to work all the same. BBB is expected to receive $12.8... Read more →