Kronovet backs down, will not vote on rent hike

CITY HALL — In an about face, Rent Control Board Commissioner Robert Kronovet now says he will follow advice from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission and abstain from voting on the annual “general rent adjustment” — the maximum allowable rent increase the board is set to decide June 1. The FPPC in... Read more →


New fare increase plan eases burden

CITY HALL — Facing a $6.4 million deficit, Big Blue Bus officials say they need to increase fares to avoid cutting service. But after an earlier fare hike proposal drew criticism from members of the City Council who said it would unduly burden senior citizens, they’ve come up with a revised fare hike plan that softens the blow... Read more →


School parcel tax support lagging

DOWNTOWN — Early returns have Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s emergency parcel tax failing to gain the necessary two-thirds vote for approval, according to results posted by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder. As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, Measure A received 11,330 votes or 63.18 percent. County election officials... Read more →

City Council

Bobby Shriver selected mayor

CITY HALL — Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan and brother of California’s first lady, was selected Tuesday as Santa Monica’s new mayor, replacing the late Ken Genser, who died earlier this year. Shriver, who was elected to the City Council in 2004, was nominated by Councilman Bob... Read more →

City Council

City Council is considering Arizona boycott

CITY HALL — Santa Monica could become the latest city to boycott Arizona over that state’s tough new immigration law that critics say will lead to racial profiling. The City Council on Tuesday will consider joining San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco by passing a measure in protest of the law, which makes state law enforcement... Read more →


Flying the cleaner skies

Dear EarthTalk Can airplanes be run on cleaner fuels or be electric powered? Are there changes afoot in the airline business to find cleaner fuels? Reema Islam Dhaka, Bangladesh Given air travel’s huge contribution to our collective carbon footprint — flying accounts for about three percent of carbon emissions worldwide by some... Read more →


Gold company investigated by City Attorney

CITY HALL — The Santa Monica City Attorney’s office last week confirmed that a local gold company is under investigation after receiving complaints that the business was possibly scamming customers. The company, Superior Gold Group (SGG), is apparently based in Nevada although it also operates out of an office on Wilshire... Read more →


Minority students suspended at higher rates

SMMUSD HDQTRS — The suspension rate fell in 2009 compared with the year before, but minority students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District continued to account for a disproportionate percentage of suspensions, according to a district report released this month. The suspension rate declined at each district secondary school... Read more →


Police ask for help locating witnesses to officer shooting

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police are asking for the public’s assistance to locate two people they believe may have witnessed the shooting of a Santa Monica Police officer early Tuesday morning. The shooting occurred May 18 at about 1:40 a.m. in the 1900 block of Lincoln Blvd. when officers stopped a suspected drunk driver. A... Read more →


SMPD admits tickets given by mistake

OCEAN PARK — A number of people received parking tickets for violating street sweeping restrictions in error last week while Ocean Park Boulevard was being repaved, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Jay Trisler. Because the city sent a notice saying street sweeping restrictions would not be enforced while Ocean Park Boulevard was being... Read more →


Venice Art Walk kicks off with party

Charlotte Bjorlin D’Elia and her husband, Robert D’Elia have been building lofts for close to 10 years. Their most recent development “Dogtown Station” — named to pay homage to the famous Venice skateboard community of years past — is comprised of 35 live/work lofts located on Main Street and is also the... Read more →

City Council

Smoking ban may expand

CITY HALL — Santa Monica’s already strict anti-smoking laws could get even tougher. Responding to residents’ complaints that the existing ban on smoking in the common areas of apartments and condos doesn’t go far enough, City Council members Gleam Davis and Kevin McKeown are asking their colleagues to support a... Read more →


Stick ’em up

Stick ’em up 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, May 15, at 9:05 p.m., Officers responded to the corner of Second Street and Pier Avenue regarding a report of an armed... Read more →


City acquires more Downtown real estate for development

DOWNTOWN — Today it’s the site of a couple of drab bank buildings, but City Hall officials say the southeast corner of Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue could be much more. The City Council last week agreed to pay $42.5 million for the 52,500-square-foot property, a purchase that officials said will complement 67,500 square feet of... Read more →


More additions to Santa Monica Place

On the heels of announcing the addition of a new and improved Disney Store, Santa Monica Place is adding nine more stores to the mix of nearly 60 retailers and restaurants already scheduled to open. The new additions cover every floor of the shopping center, slated to open Aug. 6. Ever, Kenneth Cole, and Ugo Cafe will call the mall’s... Read more →