Briefs

Big Blue a canvass for local students

Four Big Blue Buses have become rolling showcases for local students who designed posters that best demonstrated what sustainable transportation means to them. The students will be awarded grand prizes at a special event on Thursday, May 13 as part of the city-sponsored sustainability poster contest. The competition is held each year to... Read more →

Environment

Rescuing pets from toxic collars

Dear EarthTalk: I’m told that, despite improvements in recent years, pesticides in flea collars are still harmful to pets and humans. Are there ways to minimize fleas without resorting to chemical concoctions? And is anything being done to ban these dangerous products from store shelves? — Nancy Trouffant, Lancaster,... Read more →

News

SM squirrels become an Internet hit

CITYWIDE — With the advent of free video hosting websites, a new market has opened up for a very particular kind of entertainment — cute animal videos. An offshoot of this phenomenon came to Santa Monica in the fall of 2008 when a local resident left a few nuts on her porch for neighboring squirrels and, after the squirrels... Read more →

News

Chamber seeks more leeway in LUCE for developers

SM CHAMBER — Despite seven years of work on City Hall’s general plan update and a summertime deadline to approve a final version of the document, some of the toughest decisions remain to be made. As the Chamber of Commerce’s latest comments on the Land Use and Circulation Element make clear, despite many compromises,... Read more →

News

Judge rules for City Hall in $4 million bus suit

SM COURTHOUSE — In a win for City Hall, a judge this week denied a motion for a new trial in the case of an 83-year-old woman who sought $4 million after she fell while riding a Big Blue Bus and was left partially paralyzed. A jury in February determined City Hall was not liable for Beatrice Kaufman’s injuries, deciding the bus... Read more →

News

Tourism on the rebound after rough ‘09

OCEAN AVE — After an inhospitable year in which tourism spending dropped by 5.6 percent and City Hall saw a serious dip in hotel tax revenue because of the great recession, experts in the hospitality industry on Friday said conditions are improving and they expect tourism to rebound later this year. That prediction was welcomed by... Read more →

City Council

BBB fare increase shelved once more

CITY HALL — An attempt by Big Blue Bus officials to raise fares will have to wait at least two more weeks. Facing a $6.1 million deficit, the transportation company has been trying to gain support for its first significant fare increase since 2002, but in recent weeks has met with delays because of officials’ concerns the proposed... Read more →

City Council

Court ruling threatens RDA projects

CITY HALL — Several redevelopment projects planned for Santa Monica are in immediate danger of being cut due to a ruling announced Tuesday which will allow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to take $2.05 billion from cities to fund public schools. Of that amount, the ruling requires $1.7 billion to be paid during this fiscal year. Santa... Read more →

Airport

FAA, City Hall spar over airplane noise

SMO — City Hall is sharply criticizing the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to conduct public hearings before implementing an experimental takeoff route for some small propeller planes at Santa Monica Airport that area residents say has resulted in a steady stream of noisy, low-flying aircraft over their homes. In a... Read more →

News

Festival celebrates nature and nurturers

CLOVER PARK — Just in time for Mother’s Day, locals can celebrate their own moms and Mother Nature together at the zero-waste, 19th annual Santa Monica Festival this Saturday. The festival is being put on by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, Community and Cultural Services Department, Arts Commission and Office of... Read more →

Crime

Pot found on 8-year-old, mother arrested

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. Tuesday, April 27, at 2:20 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to McKinley Elementary School after a teacher there found marijuana and cigars on... Read more →

News

Garden designs up for a vote

SM AIRPORT — Hoping to encourage more residents to replace their water-sucking lawns with plants that thrive in the natural climate, City Hall is sponsoring a contest to select the designs for three demonstration “sustainable gardens” to be planted at Santa Monica Airport. Russell Ackerman, City Hall’s water... Read more →

News

Local girl wins PTA award for song

DOWNTOWN — Through her inspiring love for her father, Sophie Smyth, a 10-year-old fifth grader from Santa Monica, has won the Award of Excellence certificate from the National PTA-sponsored Reflections Program. She competed against 65,000 other entries from students throughout California for the award, which was for a song she... Read more →

City Council

Rent control commissioner barred from increase vote

CITY HALL — When the Rent Control Board makes its annual decision on the maximum allowable rent increase this summer, it will do so without Commissioner Robert Kronovet having a say. Kronovet, who owns a six-unit, rent-controlled apartment building in Santa Monica, has been barred from voting on the rent increase by the California Fair... Read more →

News

SM businesses recognized for sustainability

PICO BLVD — While the Oscars had comedian Steve Martin and actor Alec Baldwin, those who attended the 15th annual Sustainable Quality Awards Wednesday had local attorney Tom Larmore and his guitar. The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce chair led the crowd in a song about garbage. While not a common theme for most award ceremonies, the... Read more →