SMC retains top spot for transfers to UC system

SMC — For the first time, Santa Monica College helped more than 1,000 students transfer to the University of California system, the college retaining its top spot in transfers by a wide margin. SMC transferred a total of 1,053 students to UCs, up 14.58 percent from the 919 sent in 2008-09. This is the 20th consecutive year that... Read more →


City Hall restores Big Wave

After some 20 years, Santa Monica’s beloved “Big Wave” sculpture is shining bright following a $75,000 restoration project that involved the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting. Artist Tony DeLap completed the sculpture in 1989 as one of the city’s first public art projects. It spans Wilshire Boulevard at... Read more →

City Council

City officials lift beekeeping ban

CITY HALL — Beekeepers are all abuzz about the City Council’s decision Tuesday to lift its ban on beekeeping, joining the long list of cities that in recent years have authorized the activity in urban settings as concern has spread about “colony collapse disorder” — the mysterious decline in the worldwide... Read more →


School board launches search for next superintendent

SMMUSD HDQTRS — With Superintendent Tim Cuneo retiring in June, members of the school board moved forward with selecting his replacement on Monday by interviewing representatives from three executive search firms that are vying to help the board make its pick. While no formal action was taken, members indicated they were strongly... Read more →


UFO turns out to be Red Bull skydivers

SM BAY — Those strange bright lights residents saw in the night sky earlier this month turned out not to be UFOs after all, but rather two daredevils from the Red Bull Air Force who decided to jump out of an airplane with night flares. Jon DeVore and Sean MacCormac performed two night skydive demonstrations over Santa Monica on Dec. 1... Read more →


Business leaders bash plan to raise rents for restaurants

THIRD STREET PROMENADE — Restaurant owners and Downtown business leaders on Tuesday slammed a City Hall proposal to raise rents for those who offer outdoor dining on public property. The proposal, which still has to be debated and approved by the City Council, includes increases that would nearly triple rents for some restaurants, a... Read more →

City Council

Council to approve mobile home financing proposal

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 →


City Hall ramps up focus on airport

CITY HALL — With widespread resident concern over a possible flight path change at Santa Monica Airport and the looming expiration in 2015 of the agreement with the federal government to operate SMO, Santa Monica officials are taking steps to prepare for a potential showdown with the FAA. The City Council tonight is set to hire a former... Read more →


Rubin asked to resign from SMRR

DOWNTOWN — Jerry Rubin, the man known for his love of Santa Monica, his peace activism and his near-spotless attendance record at local public meetings, has been asked to resign from local political group Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights. The request came last week in an e-mail from former Planning Commissioner Jay Johnson, who... Read more →


SM couple goes into the wild

DOWNTOWN — Yannick Chaigneau met his girlfriend Shirley Lam while rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park seven years ago. On their first date, they went on a night run on the Mount Wilson Trail in the San Gabriel Mountains. “We started at 7 p.m. on a rainy evening, jogged all the way to the summit and down … . It was 2... Read more →


Celebrity chef sentenced in murder-for-hire plot

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A former Food Network star was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for trying to hire two Santa Monica homeless men to kill his wife, the District Attorney’s Office said. Juan Carlos Cruz, 48, who hosted “Calorie Commando” and “Weighing In,” pleaded no contest Oct. 26 as a... Read more →


Wrong kind of leap

Dear EarthTalk Are the world’s amphibians still in decline and what’s being done to help them? Chris W. Stamford, CT Unfortunately yes, amphibians are still in serious trouble around the world. A recently updated worldwide population assessment by the non-profit International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that... Read more →


Lang named Miramax CEO

DOWNTOWN — Miramax announced Thursday that Michael Lang has been appointed chief executive officer, effective immediately. Lang will be based at the new Miramax headquarters in Santa Monica and will oversee the Miramax film library, which was acquired by Filmyard Holdings on Dec. 3. Lang said he has long “admired the Miramax... Read more →


Fire in the sky

NOMA — Santa Monica is known around the world as a popular tourist destination, but has its reputation reached outer space? Residents in Santa Monica and the Westside have reported seeing strange lights in the night sky on at least two occasions this month, the unidentified flying objects disappearing over the Santa Monica Bay after... Read more →