Pier evacuated because of potential bomb threat

SM PIER — During a sweep before Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon Santa Monica Police officers found two suspicious packages, forcing them to evacuate the area and call in the bomb squad. Officers discovered the packages around 6 p.m. Saturday and set up a 1,000-foot buffer zone, said SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler. Thousands are expected to... Read more →


The Hump closes its doors

SM AIRPORT — The Hump, the high-end sushi restaurant facing federal charges for allegedly selling endangered whale meat, closed its doors Friday and does not plan to reopen, according to a statement on its Web site. The phone number to the restaurant was no longer active as of Saturday evening and an employee at The Hump’s sister... Read more →


Trouble while texting

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. Monday, March 8, at 6:53 p.m. A traffic officer requested assistance in the 500 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. As police personnel arrived, they... Read more →


Concert donations pile up

The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.’s fundraising drive to pay for its annual Twilight Dance Series has raised $30,000 since pier officials announced two weeks ago that they were $92,000 short of the sum they need to put on the summer concerts. The City Council last week contributed $35,000 to the effort from its discretionary fund,... Read more →


O’Connor files campaign papers

Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor raised $6,675 in campaign donations last fall, financial disclosure forms filed with the City Clerk’s office on Wednesday revealed. Although O’Connor filed the forms more than six weeks after the Feb. 1 filing deadline, City Hall said she would not be fined for her tardiness. In a letter to the... Read more →


School super wants permit exemption

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The Los Angeles Unified School District wants to boost enrollment — and increase the amount of money it gets from the state — by cutting back on the number of permits it grants to students who live within the district’s boundaries but attend classes in other public school systems. Under a plan LAUSD... Read more →


Doing taxes dirty comes with a penalty

WASHINGTON — As the deadline for filing income tax returns quickly approaches, the Internal Revenue Service this week issued its “Dirty Dozen” taxpayer scams in an effort to protect those who may fall victim to preparer fraud and may be coaxed into hiding income overseas. Tax schemes are illegal and can lead to imprisonment... Read more →


Preparing for the worst

MIDCITY — It’s a worst case scenario for local emergency responders: A dirty bomb explodes on the streets of Downtown Santa Monica during a crowded event, causing hundreds of casualties, severely injuring many more and releasing dangerous chemicals into the environment. That was the challenge at hand Wednesday afternoon for the... Read more →

City Council

SM adds to stock of rent controlled units

CITY HALL — A weak real estate market in 2009 meant few apartment owners in Santa Monica sought to evict tenants and redevelop their properties into condos, leading to a rare net increase in housing units controlled by the Rent Control Board, a report from the board released this week said. The report was an update on the impact of the... Read more →


County courts cut more than 300 jobs

DOWNTOWN L.A. — The presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court announced Tuesday the layoffs of 330 employees, along with plans to shutter courtrooms to help cope with a $79 million budget shortfall. The cutbacks are expected to be the first wave, with more job cuts and courtroom closures anticipated in six months. In Santa... Read more →

City Council

Mayoral appointment delayed until May

CITY HALL — The City Council has a full roster of seven members again, but still no mayor since the death of Ken Genser in January. The council last month appointed Terry O’Day to fill Genser’s seat, but the body will have to elect a new figurehead to chair meetings and become the face of the city. And with council members... Read more →

City Council

Parking in short supply for marathon

CITY HALL — The 25,000 participants in the L.A. Marathon this year will be crossing the finish line on Ocean Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica — attracting a flood of spectators that City Hall officials said pose a range of logistical challenges but will give a boost to local businesses. With the race set for this Sunday, City Hall... Read more →


Cozi Couch owner pleads guilty

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A year after abruptly shutting down his high-end Wilshire Boulevard furniture store and leaving behind scores of angry customers who never received orders they’d paid for, Cozi Couch owner Arman Hazarian has pleaded guilty to false advertising and doing business without a license. A judge this month ordered... Read more →

High School

Ewell takes a break from retirement

CULVER CITY — Lamont Ewell, Santa Monica’s former city manager who retired in January in order to spend more time with his family, has decided to return to work, at least temporarily, accepting a job as Culver City’s interim city manager. Ewell will make about $20,000 per month to lead Culver City from April through July,... Read more →

City Council

City Hall wants high-speed Google network

CITY HALL — City Hall wants to get something for nothing. City staff is in the process of submitting an application to Internet giant Google to compete for an ultra-high speed broadband network being offered by the company. If selected, Google proposes to construct a fiber optic network in Santa Monica capable of downloading a... Read more →