Crews test soil for light rail

CITYWIDE — As part of Phase 2 of constructing the Exposition Light Rail Transit Line, workers will be conducting field investigations of the soil along the line’s route through July 20. The route, called the Exposition Right-of-Way, constitutes the following locations: 50 feet west of Cloverfield Boulevard, 50 feet west of... Read more →


Finding summer work tough on teens

CITYWIDE — If it’s hard for an adult to find a job in this economy, imagine how hard it is for a teenager. With the teen employment rate steadily declining, summer jobs, which were once dominated by 16- to18-year-olds, are becoming increasingly more difficult to find. According to the United States Department of Labor, only... Read more →


Fundraising campaign saves school positions

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Using lemonade stands and Hollywood stars, “Save Our Schools,” the grassroots fundraising effort to help offset budget cuts to public education, has secured enough cash to pay for three elementary school teachers, a counselor, a librarian and one music instructor, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu... Read more →


Problem plastics

Dear EarthTalk Where do you recycle plastic stuff like sandwich bags, Saran wrap and plastic grocery store wrappers? Can they just go in with other plastics in the recycling bin? There never seems to be any information available about this. Renee La-Fountaine Lake Hughes, Calif. The reason you don’t hear much about recycling these... Read more →


Vidiots launches film study program

DOWNTOWN — Tom Kemper has been a card-carrying member of the independent video store Vidiots since shortly after it opened in 1985, while he was an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. “It felt like a good bookstore, or a used bookstore, in its depth of collection compared to a chain store,” he said.... Read more →


A toast for teens

MIDCITY — The fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. For an actor, that fear could kill a career before it has a chance to get off the ground. To help some teenage actors master the art of public speaking, Toastmasters Club 21, the Santa Monica branch of an international public speaking and leadership organization,... Read more →

City Council

Pier lottery system debuts to mixed reviews

CITY HALL — A week after officials began using a lottery system to pick which acts get to fill the 26 performance spots on the Santa Monica Pier, the new system is getting mixed reviews from the musicians, artists and oddball entertainers who flock to the tourist magnet to amuse the masses and make money. The lottery system replaced a... Read more →


City releases taxi cab franchise rankings

CITY HALL — Responding to calls for more transparency in its taxi cab overhaul plan, City Hall officials this week released new information about how they determined which cab companies should be allowed to operate in Santa Monica under a proposal the City Council will consider later this year. The push to shift Santa Monica’s... Read more →


Judge: Saint John’s intimidated nurses

MID-CITY — Bolstered by a federal judge’s ruling that Saint John’s Health Center engaged in illegal union busting, nurses at the hospital on Thursday staged a rally there demanding they be allowed to hold an election to determine if a union is favored by a majority of caregivers. For years, nurses at Saint John’s... Read more →


Talk about a steal of a deal

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. Saturday, July 3, at 10:09 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard (Santa Monica BMW) regarding a... Read more →


Assembly approves BPA ban

SACRAMENTO — After twice voting down a bill that would ban a chemical some say is toxic from being used in baby bottles and other products, the state Assembly earlier this month approved the bill written by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica). The Toxics-Free Babies and Toddlers Act, or SB 797, would ban the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) from... Read more →

City Council

Council approves new general plan

CITY HALL — Wrapping up the six-year process of updating Santa Monica’s general plan with a marathon final meeting Tuesday night, the City Council unanimously approved the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), agreeing to a framework that will guide development for the next 20 years. Though recent hearings on the document have... Read more →

City Council

Council approves sales tax for November

CITY HALL — The City Council on Tuesday moved toward placing a half percent sales tax increase before voters, deciding by a 6-1 vote to draft a ballot measure for this November’s election. The proposed measure would raise an estimated $13 million per year for City Hall by adding a half-cent transaction and use tax onto Santa... Read more →


FAA wants 100K for flight path info

SMO — The FAA says it plans to charge residents $100,000 to review and release data from its six-month flight path test at Santa Monica Airport. A group of residents who said the test caused a drastic increase in flights over their homes in Sunset Park and Ocean Park requested the data after the FAA claimed the test had only a minimal... Read more →