City Hall ramps up focus on airport

CITY HALL — With widespread resident concern over a possible flight path change at Santa Monica Airport and the looming expiration in 2015 of the agreement with the federal government to operate SMO, Santa Monica officials are taking steps to prepare for a potential showdown with the FAA. The City Council tonight is set to hire a former... Read more →


Rubin asked to resign from SMRR

DOWNTOWN — Jerry Rubin, the man known for his love of Santa Monica, his peace activism and his near-spotless attendance record at local public meetings, has been asked to resign from local political group Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights. The request came last week in an e-mail from former Planning Commissioner Jay Johnson, who... Read more →


SM couple goes into the wild

DOWNTOWN — Yannick Chaigneau met his girlfriend Shirley Lam while rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park seven years ago. On their first date, they went on a night run on the Mount Wilson Trail in the San Gabriel Mountains. “We started at 7 p.m. on a rainy evening, jogged all the way to the summit and down … . It was 2... Read more →


Celebrity chef sentenced in murder-for-hire plot

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A former Food Network star was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for trying to hire two Santa Monica homeless men to kill his wife, the District Attorney’s Office said. Juan Carlos Cruz, 48, who hosted “Calorie Commando” and “Weighing In,” pleaded no contest Oct. 26 as a... Read more →


Wrong kind of leap

Dear EarthTalk Are the world’s amphibians still in decline and what’s being done to help them? Chris W. Stamford, CT Unfortunately yes, amphibians are still in serious trouble around the world. A recently updated worldwide population assessment by the non-profit International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that... Read more →


Slap on the wrist for political mailer group

DOWNTOWN — California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has sent a warning letter to the president of the group Santa Monicans for Quality Government but has declined to assess a fine for what it said were two violations of the state’s Political Reform Act. In a related development, the public integrity division of the... Read more →


Donations lagging at local Salvation Army

DOWNTOWN — For the 400 needy families that signed up for assistance with the Salvation Army’s Santa Monica Corps this holiday season, Christmas could bring some disappointment. With less than two weeks to go before the charity’s Dec. 20 deadline to collect donations, Capt. Mario Ruiz said gifts of food and toys are... Read more →


Lang named Miramax CEO

DOWNTOWN — Miramax announced Thursday that Michael Lang has been appointed chief executive officer, effective immediately. Lang will be based at the new Miramax headquarters in Santa Monica and will oversee the Miramax film library, which was acquired by Filmyard Holdings on Dec. 3. Lang said he has long “admired the Miramax... Read more →


Fire in the sky

NOMA — Santa Monica is known around the world as a popular tourist destination, but has its reputation reached outer space? Residents in Santa Monica and the Westside have reported seeing strange lights in the night sky on at least two occasions this month, the unidentified flying objects disappearing over the Santa Monica Bay after... Read more →


On the stroll

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. Sunday, Nov. 28, at 10:26 a.m., Santa Monica police officers were on routine patrol in the 3100 block of Lincoln Boulevard when the vehicle in front of... Read more →


Gang member convicted in Moose Lodge shooting

DOWNTOWN L.A. — A member of the 18th Street gang, one of Los Angeles’ most notorious, was convicted Thursday of murdering five people, including two at the Moose Lodge in Sunset Park, during a crime spree that stretched more than three years, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. William Vasquez, 30, will... Read more →


Resident creates iPhone app to find parking

DOWNTOWN — As the holiday season rolls around, finding parking in Downtown can get a little dicey. To ease anxieties, Santa Monica resident Mark Miller has created SAMO Park, a free iPhone app that helps visitors locate available parking spaces. “Over the years, I’ve noticed it’s becoming more and more tricky and... Read more →

City Council

Richard Bloom named mayor for two-year term

CITY HALL — Richard Bloom will serve as Santa Monica’s mayor for the next two years after being selected for the role by his colleagues on the City Council Tuesday night. Bloom, who has been mayor for a total of three years during two prior stints, was picked for the post after a single round of voting in which council members... Read more →


Gold company with SM branch sued, seized over alleged fraud

SM COURTHOUSE — Superior Gold Group LLC, a gold coin retailer with a location in Santa Monica that has been accused of defrauding customers, has been seized by a court-appointed receiver, and all of its assets have been frozen. The order, signed by Judge Gerald Rosenberg, the presiding judge at the Santa Monica Courthouse, came in... Read more →


Sharing is caring

Santa Monica College Student Veterans Association Club and Associated Students will be collecting items to make care packages for American troops in Afghanistan. Items such as tuna packs, protein bars, instant noodle packs, mixed drink packs, beef jerky, magazines and other food, care and recreation items will be accepted. For more... Read more →