Brownley attempts to reform K-12 financing

CITYWIDE — Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) introduced legislation Wednesday that would wipe out the current system of financing public education and replace it with one that devolves more decision-making power to locally elected school boards. At present, education is funded through a multitude of dedicated pots of money,... Read more →


Sustainability on center stage

Protecting Mother Earth will be the theme this weekend in Santa Monica as City Hall presents two events that celebrate sustainability and educate those considering a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. The festivities begin Friday morning at the Civic Center Auditorium with the eighth annual Alternative Build Expo, a gathering of over... Read more →


School district may announce new superintendent next week

The Board of Education will likely announce the identity of the new superintendent of schools at a special meeting scheduled for next Monday. The timing of the announcement depends on how quickly the district can wrap up contract negotiations with the individual, who was selected after a series of interviews, background checks and site... Read more →


Nude woman falls from Main Street building

MAIN STREET — A naked woman seen dancing on the roof of a building on Main Street Wednesday fell several stories and suffered significant injuries to her body and head, Santa Monica police said. The victim, an Asian in her mid to late 20s with a shaved head, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition with compound... Read more →


Turning a cannery into a casino

In 1929, an odd flotilla of motorless ships began to appear off the coast of Santa Monica. These strange vessels were not built for speed, power or maneuverability. They were constructed for only one reason: gambling. Although gambling had been outlawed in California, the state's jurisdiction only extended 3 miles offshore. And since there... Read more →


Santa Monica Farmers’ Market gets new barricades

DOWNTOWN — Heavy duty nets will be in place next month to protect pedestrians at the Santa Monica Farmers Market where 10 people were killed when an elderly motorist sped through the open-air marketplace in 2003. The city says highway-style barricades and nets capable of stopping errant vehicles will be installed on Wednesdays and... Read more →


Synagogue blast suspect indicted by grand jury

LOS ANGELES — A homeless man has been indicted on charges of planting an explosive that detonated outside a synagogue in Santa Monica last month. A federal grand jury on Tuesday brought four counts against 60-year-old Ron Hirsch, including use of an explosive to damage property. He could face up to 70 years in prison if found... Read more →


Canary Island palm trees cause a stir in NOMA

NOMA — What if Santa Monica planted a tree, but nobody wanted it? The seemingly unlikely scenario reared its head in this tree-hugging city when officials told residents of Georgina and Marguerita avenues that dying Canary Island date palms would be replaced with California native sycamore trees. “We were mildly... Read more →


Bill would make it easier for renters to fight eviction

CITYWIDE — A bill that extends renters’ rights passed a crucial hurdle at the State Judiciary Committee last week, and will now move onto the Assembly floor. The bill, called AB 265 and authored by San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, would allow tenants who have been served a three-day notice to “pay or quit” to... Read more →


Life sentence in Juarez murders

DOWNTOWN L.A. — An imprisoned gang member will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of Michael and Anthony Juarez, two brothers who were gunned down in broad daylight while visiting their cousin’s clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard. David Robles was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of... Read more →


Santa Monicans react to bin Laden’s death

CITYWIDE — When news broke Sunday that a team of Navy Seals killed America’s most wanted, Osama bin Laden, impromptu celebrations popped up across the nation. Crowds gathered outside Ground Zero in New York and the White House, cheering and lofting signs into the air. Baseball fans in Philadelphia chanted “U.S.A.!... Read more →


Dog park to be named for Katz

JOSLYN PARK — Former Mayor Herb Katz was more than just a public servant and an architect. He also loved dogs. On Thursday, city officials will dedicate the off-leash dog area at Joslyn Park in honor of Katz, who died in January 2009 after a long bout with cancer. He was 78. Katz, who served on many boards and commissions, including... Read more →


FCVs making a comeback

Dear EarthTalk Not long ago we were reading a lot about hydrogen’s role in a clean energy future, with cars transitioning from gasoline-powered engines to hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Where does hydrogen fit now in the mix with electric cars now coming on so strong? Amanda Jenkins Troy, Minn. It is true that just a few years... Read more →


BBB wants to diversify its advertising portfolio

DOWNTOWN — Local transit officials are trying to work out a deal with Culver City’s bus company to take over their advertising arm for a cut of the profits. Currently Culver City Bus does not have an advertising program, choosing instead to use space on its 52 coaches to build brand recognition for the company and, in turn,... Read more →


Pico residents weigh in on Expo buffer zone

CITY YARDS — Residents living near the proposed Exposition Light Rail Line maintenance yard on Thursday had a rare opportunity to weigh in on what they want to see built in a roughly 2-acre buffer zone meant to shield them from noise made by trains. Representatives from the Metro Transit Authority, Exposition Construction Authority... Read more →