City Council OKs plastic bag ban

CITY HALL — The City Council on Tuesday fulfilled a long-delayed promise by voting to ban Santa Monica retailers from giving out free single-use plastic bags at the cash register — a move environmentalists say will encourage people to bring reusable bags to the store and reduce litter and carbon emissions. Under the ban, grocery... Read more →


Police looking for suspects in attempted kidnapping

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police are on the hunt for two men who tried to abduct a 17-year-old girl who was walking to school Monday morning. SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler said the teenager was walking on the 3100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue when a man approached her and tried to engage her in a conversation. The girl ignored the man and... Read more →


Company targeted in probe sponsors chamber event

DOWNTOWN — What does the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce have in common with Fox News host Glenn Beck? Both, it turns out, have been sponsored by the company Goldline International, a locally-based seller of gold coins that is under investigation by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office and county prosecutors for allegedly... Read more →

City Council

Four DA’s remain out of compliance

CITY HALL — Four Santa Monica real estate projects have failed to live up to their obligations under so-called “development agreements” entered into with City Hall, according to a review of the agreements by the Planning and Community Development Department. Under the agreements, developers responsible for the projects... Read more →


Support session to address recent death of Samohi student

Families are invited to a support session at Santa Monica High School tonight (Jan. 25) to discuss the community’s psychological needs after the tragic suicide of Matthew Mezza, a freshman who jumped to his death Jan. 14 in front of horrified classmates. The panel discussion, “After a Crisis: Understanding and Supporting your... Read more →

City Council

$100K contract for Santa Monica Festival to be awarded

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 →


Helping troops phone home

A local funeral home is collecting old cell phones to help soldiers call their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors is asking its employees, residents and local business owners to donate “gently-used cell phones” as part of a nationwide recycling program Cell Phones... Read more →

City Council

SM employees receive $1.4M in bonuses

CITY HALL — Santa Monica municipal employees received $1.4 million in performance-based bonuses for the fiscal year that ended in June, a big increase from the $291,000 they received the prior year but far less than the amounts they grew accustomed to before the current recession hit. In 2007-08, for example, employees received more... Read more →


Sunset Park power lines go underground

SUNSET PARK — A long-awaited project that will result in fewer above ground power lines in a four-block area surrounding Pico Boulevard and 18th Street is underway, City Hall officials have announced. The $8 million project is expected to take six months to complete and involves placing communications and electricity distribution lines... Read more →


No breathing room

Dear EarthTalk Aren’t environmental issues primarily about health? Detractors like to trivialize environmentalists as “tree huggers,” but the bottom line is that pollution makes us sick, right? Wouldn’t people care more if they had a better understanding of that? Tim Douglas, Stowe, VT No doubt many of the ways... Read more →


SMC launches recycling training program

SMC — Santa Monica College, in collaboration with the California Works Alliance, will officially launch its new recycling and resource management job-training program on Wednesday. Dubbed “Jobs Through Recycling,” the program — which provides job training in the high-growth, high-demand field of resource management... Read more →


Twilight Dance Series poster contest begins

The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. announced Thursday its latest edition of the annual Twilight Dance Series poster contest. The winning design will become the official poster for the 27th annual Twilight Dance Series, the pier’s free summer concerts. The poster will serve as the primary advertising piece for the annual event that... Read more →


Santa Monica Conservancy honors preservationists

DOWNTOWN — A collection of Craftsman-style bungalows and a commercial building designed by renowned architect Paul Williams are just some of the landmarked structures that will be featured Sunday when the Santa Monica Conservancy presents the 2011 Preservation Awards. The awards will be presented to residents, organizations and... Read more →


Water treatment plant goes online

CITYWIDE — Flashback to the days leading up to this past Christmas: The region was being pounded by a rare, nearly week-long storm that brought down trees and caused hill dwellers to fear their homes would be swallowed up in a cascade of mud. In Santa Monica, there were few reports of damage. In fact, the storm had an upside for... Read more →