City Council

Rent Control Board wants powers expanded

CITY HALL — In a bid to significantly broaden the scope of tenant protections in Santa Monica, the Rent Control Board wants to bolster rules that protect against evictions and extend those protections to cover all tenants in the city, rather than just those who live in rent-controlled apartments. To take effect, the proposed changes... Read more →


Brownley pushes for statewide plastic bag ban

SM PIER — Free plastic bags could soon vanish from checkout stands across California under a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) that is set for a crucial vote in Sacramento this week. Brownley’s proposal would bar grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies in California from giving... Read more →

City Council

Council votes for Arizona boycott, with wiggle room

CITY HALL — The City Council last week unanimously voted to boycott Arizona businesses to protest that state’s tough new immigration law, but stopped short of pulling the plug on a possible $2 million contract with a company that has a facility near Phoenix. The seven-member council was united last Tuesday in passing a... Read more →


Bus fare hike OK’d; parking could be next

CITY HALL — Bus fares are going up, and the cost of a parking violation could be next. Faced with a $6.4 million Big Blue Bus operating deficit, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday approved increasing cash fares from 75 cent to $1 for standard passengers, from 50 cents to $1 for students and from 25 cents to 50 cents for seniors,... Read more →


Samohi’s Lacy passes away

SAMOHI — Norm Lacy, Santa Monica High School’s athletic director, passed away on Saturday, school officials and friends said. The cause of death was due to a heart attack, according to a number of sources associated with the school. “Just terrible,” Samohi softball Head Coach Debbie Skaggs said. “This is very... Read more →


In search of families

DOWNTOWN — Linda Brenden knows she’s changed at least one life from opening up her home to foreign exchange students. During one of the 21 years she has hosted international high school students as part of Education First’s Foundation for Foreign Study, a boy from Scandinavia did not interact much with the other students and... Read more →


Are storms a sign of what’s to come?

Dear EarthTalk The U.S. got socked with several major storms this past winter. Local weather reports never mentioned this as odd. But is it a sign of global warming? R.A. Forbes via e-mail Weather patterns and trends are notoriously unpredictable, varying due to a great many different inputs. While it’s true that snowier, stormier... Read more →


School board cuts $7.1M

SMMUSD HDQTRS — In the wake of Measure A’s defeat at the polls, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District on Thursday slashed $7.1 million from its budget, a step toward closing its $12 million funding shortfall. Measure A, the proposed $198 per parcel tax dubbed an “emergency” school funding initiative, would... Read more →


Legendary prop house begins sale of collection

MAIN STREET — It was 1976, and Jadis had just opened. A woman came and knocked on the door, a smile wide across her face. The collection of technological oddities and anachronistic models reminded her of her grandfather’s basement. But her boyfriend, standing next to her with a latte, did not want to pay the $1 entrance... Read more →


Hit and run

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. Friday, May 7, at 11:32 a.m. Santa Monica Police officers responded to the 2500 block of Lincoln Boulevard — Arco — regarding an armed robbery.... Read more →

City Council

Homeless lawsuit dismissed

CITY HALL — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against City Hall filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that accused Santa Monica officials of harassing and intimidating homeless residents in an attempt to drive them out of town. The suit was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning the ACLU is barred from bringing... Read more →


Pier ranked fifth most polluted beach in state

SM BEACH — The Santa Monica Pier remained ranked as the fifth most polluted beach in California in Heal the Bay’s 2009-10 Beach Report Card, though a replaced storm drain has contributed to a slight improvement in the quality of the water there. Overall, Los Angeles County showed significant improvement in beach water... Read more →

City Council

Budget proposal avoids major cuts

CITY HALL — Facing a $13.2 million general fund deficit, City Hall officials have proposed a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that they say will close the budget gap without substantial cuts to services and without layoffs or furlough days for employees. The budget proposal, which the City Council began reviewing at a... Read more →


Details emerge in Samohi weapons case

SMMUSD HDQTRS — When two Santa Monica High School students were arrested in February for allegedly bringing daggers, a BB gun, handcuffs, rope and black face masks to school, district officials claimed the students had posed no threat to campus safety. On April 9, when Santa Monica-Malibu Unifed School District Superintendent Tim... Read more →