Briefs

Helping troops phone home

A local funeral home is collecting old cell phones to help soldiers call their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors is asking its employees, residents and local business owners to donate “gently-used cell phones” as part of a nationwide recycling program Cell Phones... Read more →

City Council

SM employees receive $1.4M in bonuses

CITY HALL — Santa Monica municipal employees received $1.4 million in performance-based bonuses for the fiscal year that ended in June, a big increase from the $291,000 they received the prior year but far less than the amounts they grew accustomed to before the current recession hit. In 2007-08, for example, employees received more... Read more →

City Council

Four DA’s remain out of compliance

CITY HALL — Four Santa Monica real estate projects have failed to live up to their obligations under so-called “development agreements” entered into with City Hall, according to a review of the agreements by the Planning and Community Development Department. Under the agreements, developers responsible for the projects... Read more →

News

Support session to address recent death of Samohi student

Families are invited to a support session at Santa Monica High School tonight (Jan. 25) to discuss the community’s psychological needs after the tragic suicide of Matthew Mezza, a freshman who jumped to his death Jan. 14 in front of horrified classmates. The panel discussion, “After a Crisis: Understanding and Supporting your... Read more →

Education

SMC launches recycling training program

SMC — Santa Monica College, in collaboration with the California Works Alliance, will officially launch its new recycling and resource management job-training program on Wednesday. Dubbed “Jobs Through Recycling,” the program — which provides job training in the high-growth, high-demand field of resource management... Read more →

News

Twilight Dance Series poster contest begins

The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. announced Thursday its latest edition of the annual Twilight Dance Series poster contest. The winning design will become the official poster for the 27th annual Twilight Dance Series, the pier’s free summer concerts. The poster will serve as the primary advertising piece for the annual event that... Read more →

News

Sunset Park power lines go underground

SUNSET PARK — A long-awaited project that will result in fewer above ground power lines in a four-block area surrounding Pico Boulevard and 18th Street is underway, City Hall officials have announced. The $8 million project is expected to take six months to complete and involves placing communications and electricity distribution lines... Read more →

Environment

No breathing room

Dear EarthTalk Aren’t environmental issues primarily about health? Detractors like to trivialize environmentalists as “tree huggers,” but the bottom line is that pollution makes us sick, right? Wouldn’t people care more if they had a better understanding of that? Tim Douglas, Stowe, VT No doubt many of the ways... Read more →

News

Santa Monica Conservancy honors preservationists

DOWNTOWN — A collection of Craftsman-style bungalows and a commercial building designed by renowned architect Paul Williams are just some of the landmarked structures that will be featured Sunday when the Santa Monica Conservancy presents the 2011 Preservation Awards. The awards will be presented to residents, organizations and... Read more →

News

Friday’s top events

Today's events have a heavy dose of theater. A nose for theatre Ruskin Group Theatre 3000 Airport Ave., 8 p.m. Ruskin Group Theatre presents an adventure based on the legend of 17th Century French dramatist and duelist Savinien de Bergerac, now known the world over as Cyrano. Afflicted with an enormous and bulbous nose, he is convinced... Read more →

News

Santa Monica earns B from American Lung Association

DOWNTOWN — While nearly two-thirds of all cities in the state received failing grades in an annual smoking report released Thursday by the American Lung Association, Santa Monica earned a B for its policies restricting smoking and the sales of tobacco products. The report rates cities in the areas of providing smoke-free outdoor... Read more →

Crime

‘Survivor’ champ arrested in Santa Monica

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police said Thursday that Judson Birza, the million dollar winner of “Survivor: Nicaragua” just one month ago, was arrested around noon on Wednesday while riding his skateboard in the middle of the street. Birza was detained for a vehicle code violation. Officers ran his name through a database... Read more →

City Council

City Hall fights to keep RDA funding

CITY HALL — Bracing for a fight with Sacramento, Santa Monica’s City Council joined a raft of other California cities this week by moving to shore up tens of millions of dollars per year in Redevelopment Agency funding that Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed using to help close the state’s multi-billion dollar budget gap. City... Read more →

Airport

Appeals court sides with FAA in jet ban case

SMO — A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. has declined to review an FAA ruling that determined City Hall is barred from enforcing a ban, passed by the City Council in 2008, prohibiting class C and D jets from landing at the Santa Monica Airport. The ruling, issued on Friday, was the latest blow to local officials’ attempt... Read more →