School board member under investigation

PICO BLVD — Following a four-month investigation, Santa Monica police believe they have enough evidence to charge school board member Oscar de la Torre with felony child endangerment in connection with a fist fight between two high school students. Police believe de la Torre, who runs a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce youth... Read more →


Artwalk a first for shopping district

It’s more art than commerce, but it may give a boost to the businesses that call Montana Avenue home. In the first of what organizers hope will become an annual event, merchants on the famous shopping street are transforming their stores and restaurants into Santa Monica’s longest art gallery this Thursday night from 5 p.m. to 9... Read more →

City Council

Davis draws broad-based endorsements

CITY HALL — Gleam Davis may not have Michael Jordan and Larry Bird on her side, but, at least in Santa Monica politics, she’s got a pair that’s just as potent: Former mayor and one-time Chamber of Commerce president Nat Trives and former mayor and Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights co-founder Denny Zane. They’re... Read more →


Judge increases Redding murder suspect’s bail

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A judge Tuesday increased bail to $3.5 million for a Thousand Oaks woman charged with murdering an aspiring model and actress in Santa Monica in March, 2008. Kelly Soo Park, 44, had been jailed on $1 million bail before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz made his ruling, according to Shiara... Read more →


Special ed parents upset over closure

LINCOLN BLVD — Parents of children with autism who attend Pine Street Preschool will tell people straight away that the collection of four makeshift classrooms is not the most aesthetically appealing learning environment in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The true beauty of Pine Street is what happens inside. The... Read more →

City Council

City Hall wants Supreme Court review

CITY HALL — Hoping to overturn a court ruling they say would hurt affordable housing in Santa Monica and throughout the state, City Hall lawyers plan to ask the California Supreme Court to review the Embassy Hotel Apartments case, which an appellate court decided against the city last month. The move is the last available option for... Read more →


School board brings back counselors

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Despite severe funding cuts at the state level, education officials last week decided it was more important to bring back counselors than to save money. The school board chose to reinstate three counselors (one at Malibu High School, which previously lost two, one at Lincoln Middle School and one to be split between John... Read more →


Senior citizens feel the burn of budget cuts

SMC — Natalie Lewis can’t believe that at 78 years old she is able to do a handstand. She gained the strength and flexibility to accomplish the feat in a yoga class at Santa Monica’s Emeritus College; a class she has taken for 10 years and said she could not have done it without her teacher, Marsha... Read more →


Giving wind a boost

Dear EarthTalk I heard that some wind farms use fossil fuels to power their generators when the wind won’t. Doesn’t that defeat their whole renewable energy purpose? Why not let the wind power it or not? Also, I’ve heard that the low-frequency sounds generated by these turbines can harm people and animals. Is this true? Ryan... Read more →


Website showcases local green practices

MONTANA AVE — Juan Beltran’s helicopter crashed after losing its tail rotor during a test flight while deployed as an U.S. Army pilot in Iraq, leaving him a quadriplegic. Instead of sulking about his new disability when he came home, Beltran used the money he received from a settlement with the helicopter manufacturer to start a... Read more →


City officials weigh in on Exposition Light Rail stations

DOWNTOWN — When riders of the long-awaited Exposition Light Rail hit the end of the line and descend on the corner of Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, what should they see? Should the final station by the sea feature a mixed-use development with ground-floor commercial and apartments on top, or would a more minimalist design better... Read more →


School district adds new faces

The school board has appointed three administrators to fill key positions throughout the district. Debra Washington was selected as the new assistant superintendent of human resources, replacing Mike Matthews, who left this spring to become superintendent of Manhattan Beach schools. Steven Richardson was appointed the new principal at Will... Read more →

City Council

Broad sweetens deal with L.A. for new museum

CITY HALL — While all signs are pointing to billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad building a new museum in Downtown Los Angeles to house his expansive art collection, city officials remain confident that Santa Monica is still his best option. Broad said this week that he is willing to pay the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency... Read more →


Fate of schools tied to sales tax measure

SMMUSD HDQTRS — In the spirit of collaboration, not competition, the school board Wednesday decided to cease all discussions of placing another parcel tax measure on the ballot after the Santa Monica City Council earlier this week agreed to ask voters in November to approve a sales tax increase to help fund education and other essential... Read more →


Stop that car!

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, July 5, at 12:13 a.m. Santa Monica officers were at the corner of Ocean and Bicknell avenues talking to a resident when they heard a vehicle... Read more →