World Bank projects draw criticism

Dear EarthTalk The World Bank is often cast in a bad light by green groups and in the press. What are their eco-crimes, and are there any reforms in the making? J. Bloch Newark, NJ Originally created to finance the rebuilding of Europe after World War II, the World Bank later took on a larger mandate to try to alleviate poverty around the... Read more →


Gardena man sentenced to 19 years for SM robbery

A Gardena man who was found guilty of pistol whipping and robbing a gas station attendant in Santa Monica has been sentenced to 19 years in state prison, Santa Monica police said Sunday. Karl Lamonte Wesley, 31, was sentenced on Feb. 3. SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler said forensics lifted fingerprints from the ARCO gas station located in the 2000... Read more →


Geneti sets L.A. Marathon record in pouring rain

OCEAN AVE — The only time Markos Geneti doubted himself was just before the start of the Los Angeles Marathon. The Ethiopian had never competed over the 26.2-mile distance and was up against a field of experienced Kenyans, including two-time defending champion Wesley Korir. But Geneti quickly left those doubts behind Sunday, setting a... Read more →


Mental health costs to hit district hard

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Health care and its budgetary impacts dominated discussion at the Board of Education meeting Thursday night, with board members grappling with the cost of providing both mental health services and keeping a highly qualified, but expensive, nursing staff. The board approved a draft memorandum of understanding between the... Read more →


Navigating the L.A. Marathon: Getting around on race day

CITYWIDE — On Sunday, March 20, 25,000 people will take to the streets of Los Angeles to put themselves through the grueling 26.2-mile L.A. Marathon. Many more will be on the sidelines, cheering on the runners to the end. Here in Santa Monica, over 50,000 people are expected to celebrate the big day, and while that translates to... Read more →


L.A. Marathon equals big money for city, region

CITYWIDE — Over 50,000 runners and observers will descend upon Santa Monica Sunday as part of the L.A. Marathon, filling hotel rooms, restaurants and, hopefully, the pockets of local business owners. Organizers expect the race to top the $5 million in economic benefits reported by L.A. County businesses from the 2010 event, said Dave... Read more →


No increased radiation detected in SoCal

LOS ANGELES — Air quality officials say they have not detected increased radiation levels in Southern California from a crippled nuclear power plant in Japan. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said Thursday there’s been no change in background levels of radiation. The agency operates three stations around Southern... Read more →


LaSalle buys Viceroy for $80.1 million

BETHESDA, Md. — LaSalle Hotel Properties is buying the Viceroy Santa Monica hotel for $80.1 million. The real estate investment trust said Thursday that the 162-room hotel is subject to a ground lease with the City of Santa Monica, which expires on Sept. 25, 2065. The property, which is one block from Santa Monica Beach, will continue... Read more →


An inside job

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. Thursday, March 10, at 8:40 a.m. Officers responded to 2401 Lincoln Blvd. — Livity — regarding a burglary report. Upon arrival, the manager... Read more →


Ed board members reach out to Malibu

MALIBU — Members of the Malibu Parent Teacher Student Association packed the Malibu High School library Thursday morning to question two members of the school board about issues facing the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Vice President Ben Allen and newly-elected member Nimish Patel attended the meeting as part of an... Read more →


Santa Monica rallies to support Japan

CITYWIDE — As news stations play and replay the catastrophic damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck an unsuspecting Japan, the Santa Monica community has banded together to support those affected by the disaster both abroad and closer to home. As of Thursday, nearly 10,000 people are thought to have died in the... Read more →


Creativity flies high at Airport Artwalk

SMO — Sixty artists will demonstrate their wares at the fifth annual Airport Artwalk, a festival celebrating local products, food and fun in conjunction with the Buy Local Expo taking place on Saturday. Visitors will get the opportunity to peruse works of art and take in theater, courtesy of the Ruskin Theater group, and tunes... Read more →


Gardening program yields bounty

SUNSET PARK — Jin Yang and his wife, Huili Gao, had a problem that many people in Santa Monica wish they had — a spacious backyard, perfect for gardening. Unfortunately, they also had no time to tend it. Step out of their Sunset Park home, and you see a tiered yard with dedicated plots that boast more weeds than roses, or... Read more →


Heroes support heroes: Firefighters adopt soldiers

CITYWIDE — Around Christmas, Dominic Smith began wondering what it would be like to be a soldier in Afghanistan, far from home, family and the comforts of the holidays. Smith, a firefighter with the Santa Monica Fire Department, was bothered by the fact that the Afghan war had dropped from the headlines, and felt that not enough was... Read more →


Airport Commission no place for pilots

SMO — As city officials begin to look toward the possibilities of a post-2015 Santa Monica Airport, the commission that is meant to advise them on all things aviation received its fifth member, who has a history of involvement with an anti-airport neighborhood group and, like his four colleagues, has no background in aviation. David... Read more →