Desertification a real threat

Dear EarthTalk Can you explain what “desertification” is and why it is an important environmental issue? Jay Harris Nashville, TN Desertification is the degradation of land in already dry parts of the globe that results from various factors, including natural climate changes as well as human activity. As the name connotes it is... Read more →


Bus crash on PCH

CITYWIDE — It certainly was a manic Monday for one Metro bus driver who missed a freeway ramp early this morning, tried to make a U-turn and ended up with his bus disabled and blocking six lanes of Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.  The driver, heading from a garage to his route up Santa Monica Boulevard, instead steered onto... Read more →


Slide closes PCH west of Malibu

MALIBU — A scenic stretch of Pacific Coast Highway west of Malibu has been closed because of a rock and mud slide as record rains soak Southern California. The California Highway Patrol says PCH was shut down at about 8:10 p.m. Sunday because of the slide near the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties some 40 miles west of Downtown... Read more →


SMPD: A year without a deadly traffic accident

CITYWIDE — For the first time in a long time, Santa Monica experienced no fatal traffic accidents over the last 12 months, a remarkable statistic given the volume of vehicle trips that take place in this bustling city by the sea, authorities said. Santa Monica Police Department Investigator Chris Dawson, who handles traffic accidents,... Read more →


Olympic High deemed ‘model’ campus

LINCOLN BLVD — Olympic High School, which offers programs designed for students who have struggled to stay in school, has been named a 2011 Model Continuation High School by State Superintendent Jack O’Connell, making it one of 27 schools to receive the honor. “We at Olympic are delighted to have our school and staff... Read more →


Don’t leave packages unattended

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. Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 6:50 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1100 block of 11th Street regarding a theft that recently occurred. The... Read more →


Saint John’s testing stem cell treatment for back pain

MID-CITY — Are you hurting to get rid of that pain in your neck or the ache in your lower back? If so, Saint John’s Health Center could help. Doctors at the Mid-City hospital are looking for candidates to participate in clinical studies for lumbar and cervical fusion procedures using adult stem cell technology instead of bone... Read more →


New nursing facility for veterans seeks patients

WEST L.A. — Veterans in need of assistance are being encouraged to apply for a bed at the new Veterans Home of California — West Los Angeles, a 396-bed, long-term assisted living and nursing facility located near the VA hospital on Wilshire Boulevard. The home provides veterans who qualify with a living environment that... Read more →


City Council favors locals in taxi cab compromise

CITY HALL — In a contentious coda to what had already been a process fraught with controversy, the City Council on Tuesday agreed to allow each of the five taxi companies that were awarded franchises to operate additional cabs, with the two Santa Monica-based companies getting a bonus of five cabs each. The decision came after the... Read more →


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 →