City Council

Planning Commission urges new fines for rogue owners

CITY HALL — The Planning Commission has recommended creating new penalties for developers who fail to abide by affordable housing rules, an action sparked by recent revelations some local landlords did not verify income eligibility before leasing low-income units while others failed to provide promised units altogether. The commission... Read more →


Save Our Schools tops $1M, plans celebration

Supporters of local public schools have raised more than $1 million to help save teachers’ jobs and close the funding gap for the upcoming school year, organizers with the Save Our Schools campaign said this week. A celebration marking the end of the campaign is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Santa Monica... Read more →

City Council

City Council to approve beach restroom upgrade

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 →


LaVette replaces Taylor as TDS act

SM PIER — Despite the cancellation of former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor for next week’s Twilight Dance Series, concert organizers have secured soul singer Bettye LaVette to take his place during the free show. Taylor, who cited management and health issues for his cancellation, informed Santa Monica Pier officials last week that... Read more →


School lunch rules released

The SMMUSD on Monday released income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price meals for students. Parents can now apply for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. Children who receive Food Stamp (FS), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or... Read more →


Keeping cotton clean

Dear EarthTalk I always thought cotton was eco-friendly, but I recently heard otherwise. What’s so bad about cotton? And where can I find organic cotton clothing? Jamie Hunter Twin Falls, ID There’s a lot “bad” about |conventionally grown cotton — cotton grown with the aid of synthetic chemicals, that is. The... Read more →


SMC looks to reverse Emeritus cuts

SMC — Reacting to complaints about the loss of exercise classes at Emeritus College, college officials are exploring options to reinstate the classes, possibly charging students a fee. Two sections of yoga, one section of tai chi and one section of aerobics were cut from the senior citizen program’s fall schedule in response to... Read more →


SMRR leadership backs three more of its own

DOWNTOWN — The political party Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights will back full slates of candidates for all races in November’s election, adding incumbent Councilwoman Pam O’Connor and incumbent school board members Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Mechur to the list of candidates with official SMRR support, leaders of... Read more →


New mall draws large crowd on opening day

DOWNTOWN — Thousands flocked to Santa Monica Place’s grand re-opening Friday to be among the first to experience the open-air, upscale shopping venue and possibly get their hands on a variety of free gift cards. The 540,000 square foot mall re-opened after two-and-a-half years and $265 million worth of renovations. The three... Read more →

City Council

Review of SMPD investigation to cost $250 per hour

CITY HALL — An independent review of a recent Santa Monica Police Department investigation into whether school board member Oscar de la Torre committed child endangerment in connection with a fist fight between two teenagers is expected to begin this week, City Manager Rod Gould said on Friday. Gould ordered the review after... Read more →

City Council

Homeowner busted for illegal short-term rental

CITY HALL — A homeowner was put on probation and ordered to pay roughly $4,000 in fines and attorneys fees for using his former Ocean Park pad as a hotel by renting it out to vacationers for short-term stays, a violation of the zoning code, Santa Monica city officials said Thursday. It is the first prosecution of a case involving... Read more →


Parlez vous Francais?

If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, the Santa Monica Library is offering something that will help. Mango Languages is a free online tool that offers a variety of languages to choose from including: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, German, Greek, Italian, and more. Library cardholders can access Mango via the... Read more →


SM Place celebrates grand re-opening

DOWNTOWN — Two-and-a-half years after it closed for a $265 million renovation, Macerich Co. is re-opening Santa Monica Place today, giving shoppers in the region a new destination and bringing City Hall a needed sales tax boost. Today’s ribbon cutting marks one of very few shopping center openings in the country this year, as... Read more →

City Council

SMRR mum on backing more candidates

CITY HALL — Leaders of the political party Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights on Thursday were keeping quiet about whether the organization would support additional candidates in the City Council and school board races, saying they’d make an announcement this evening. SMRR members who attended the group’s convention... Read more →