Transient pleads not guilty in synagogue blast

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A homeless man pleaded not guilty to charges he set off a homemade bomb near a Santa Monica synagogue. Sixty-year-old Ron Hirsch entered pleas Monday in Los Angeles federal court to four felonies involving use of an explosive and a destructive device. He faces up to 70 years in federal prison if convicted. Hirsch is... Read more →


UC nurses reach tentative labor pact

MID-CITY — Nurses at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center cast votes Monday for a tentative labor agreement with the University of California system that includes an 11 percent pay increase over the next two years. The more than 11,000 UC registered nurses who are represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United... Read more →


Plea in whale meat case postponed

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A Gardena seafood dealer who sold endangered whale meat to The Hump in Santa Monica and other sushi restaurants has yet to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge as part of a deal with prosecutors. Ginichi Y. Ohira, 50, was charged in Los Angeles federal court with knowingly selling a marine mammal product for an... Read more →


Your tax dollars at work

CITYWIDE — Anybody who owns or rents property in Santa Monica knows that the city by the sea is not a cheap place to live. Santa Monicans pay for the luxury of living in an iconic beach town, bounded by the sparkling Pacific Ocean on one side, and the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles on the other. What people may forget, at least... Read more →


Dolphin dilemma

Dear EarthTalk How are wild dolphins faring on the high seas? Recent reports of dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico may well be due to last year’s BP oil spill, but I imagine there are many threats to dolphins from pollution, human overfishing and other causes. Henry Milken Atlanta, Ga. Dolphins are probably the most iconic and best... Read more →


Assembly field taking shape

DOWNTOWN Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom will have some pretty stiff competition for the 41st District Assembly seat. Social activist Torie Osborn officially announced her bid to succeed Assemblywoman Julie Brownley Thursday, touting high-profile endorsements from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los... Read more →


Former SMMUSD superintendent dies

PACIFICA, CALIF — Former Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dianne Talarico died this week after a battle with lung cancer. She was 53. Talarico replaced former Superintendent John Deasy in July 2006, and served the district during a tumultuous two years marked by success in promoting programs for... Read more →


Seafood dealer to plead guilty in whale meat case

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A Gardena seafood dealer who imported endangered whale meat from Tokyo and sold it to Santa Monica eatery The Hump and other sushi restaurants in the Southland will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, according to reports. Ginichi Y. Ohira, 50, was charged in Los Angeles federal court with knowingly selling a marine... Read more →


Embassy tenants’ homes safe, for now

THIRD STREET — Residents of the Embassy Hotel and Apartments can breathe a little easier. The City Attorney’s Office, Rent Control Board and owners of the Embassy reached a settlement agreement announced at last week’s City Council meeting, which gives the residents’ four years to leave the apartments and collect... Read more →


Committee to look at bond, parcel tax

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to reconvene a citizen-led committee to look at the possibility of a future parcel tax and bond measure. The committee, which is authorized to have up to 35 members and $50,000 for polling, last got together for the successful Y and YY campaign, which is supposed to... Read more →


Shop ‘til you drop dead

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. Saturday, May 14, at 8:40 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1300 block of Wilshire Boulevard — Rite Aid — regarding a... Read more →


Republican advances to runoff for Harman’s seat

LOS ANGELES — Republican businessman Craig Huey on Thursday beat California Secretary of State Debra Bowen in a congressional race and will square off against Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a July runoff congressional race. The win for Huey, a political newcomer with tea party backing, confounded expectations the runoff... Read more →


Future of school nurses up in the air

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Nearly half of the nurses that received layoff notices from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will get to keep their jobs under a new proposal put forward by the superintendent, but critics say the plan ignores recommendations made by a committee which held cuts to zero for the coming school year. Of the... Read more →


Renters may lose right to smoke at home

CITYWIDE — Santa Monica landlords are cheering on a bill being considered by the California State Assembly that would allow them to restrict smoking in rentals, a measure which puts renters’ rights groups in the uncomfortable position of defending a deadly habit. While there is no prohibition on landlords prohibiting smoking, the... Read more →