New world water

Dear EarthTalk Is it true that some countries have turned over public water supplies to private companies, effectively denying local communities much-needed access? J. Johnson Lancaster, PA Water is such an important part of life that it has long been regarded as a public good worth entrusting only to public entities. But given the mixed... Read more →


County opens court for veterans

Military veterans who risk their lives and make it back home usually do not return unscathed. Some are fortunate to return with no physical scars, but many come back with emotional and mental health problems. When left untreated, the problems can affect the veteran, the veteran’s family members and society as a whole. In recognition of... Read more →


On stage for 100 days

DOWNTOWN — For a man who has only performed stand-up comedy four times in his life, Blake Dirickson sure is ambitious. The scruffy, 31-year-old Santa Monica resident, whose hair borderlines on afro-size despite his Irish roots, will attempt to perform 100 consecutive days of stand-up comedy in venues mostly in and around the city.... Read more →


League of Conservation Voters releases endorsements

CITYWIDE — The Los Angeles County League of Conservation Voters has released its list of endorsements for Santa Monica’s City Council election, backing four sitting council members and challenger Ted Winterer in November’s race. The group, which is the only environmental political action committee in L.A. County, has thrown... Read more →


Giant blue whales put on a show in SM Bay

SM BAY — Dozens of giant blue whales are putting on a show along the Southern California coast, and one Santa Monica resident was treated to a front row seat. While paddle boarding north from Hermosa Beach last week, Mike Vaughan, a third-generation Santa Monican and an avid surfer, nearly collided with a roughly 60-80-foot blue... Read more →


New tastes to replace old at Farmers’ Markets

MAIN STREET — If you’re a fan of the gourmet tamale stand at the Main Street Farmers’ Market, get them while you still can. Thanks to an overhaul of the way City Hall selects vendors, the weekly Sunday market will have a different look come October, with a new roster of prepared food sellers. The change means some longtime... Read more →


Honoring victims of 9/11

CITYWIDE Those who want to honor the memory of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are encouraged to join Santa Monica fire fighters Saturday morning at one of four stations. A remembrance ceremony will begin promptly at 6:45 a.m. and should last no longer than 20 minutes, fire officials said. The attacks on the World Trade Center,... Read more →


Free outdoor movies return

Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and head down to the beach to catch Brand X Movies at the Pier. The four-part series begins Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. with a presentaiton of “Iron Man.” Subsequent movies will be: “The Spongebob Squarpants Movie” on Sept. 17; “Dirt!” on Sept. 24; and the original “Karate... Read more →


Boys & Girls Club closes popular skate park

LINCOLN BLVD — A skate park at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica that was especially popular among in-line skaters was abruptly shut down on Tuesday, setting off complaints from the park’s devotees and their parents. By Thursday, the park’s wooden ramps were being demolished — part of a plan to convert the... Read more →


Rabbi urges support for NYC Islamic center

SAMOHI — The Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a day for believers to reflect and repent as they head into the Jewish new year. But at a ceremony held Thursday for the holiday at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall, the day’s message was also overtly political. Speaking to a capacity crowd, Rabbi Neil... Read more →


Busted on his birthday

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. Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 12:02 a.m., Santa Monica officers were on routine patrol in the 1400 block of Ninth Street when they observed two people riding bikes... Read more →


Help plan Pico Library

When it comes to building a new library for the Pico Neighborhood, City Hall wants to hear from you. City staff will host a community workshop this Saturday, Sept. 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Thelma Terry Community Meeting Room at Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Ave. Pico Neighborhood residents have for decades requested a library... Read more →

City Council

Latest smoking ban takes effect

CITY HALL — You no longer have to leave the safety of your own home to violate a Santa Monica anti-smoking law. As of today, it’s illegal to smoke outdoors within 25-feet of any apartment building door, window or vent — a rule aimed at preventing smokers from lighting up on patios and balconies of multi-unit residential... Read more →


Plans brewing to save Emeritus exercise classes

SMC — Senior citizens enrolled in yoga, tai chi and other exercise classes at the Emeritus College will still have the chance to sign up for their favorite courses come spring semester, Santa Monica College officials said this week, but the days of free enrollment may be coming to an end. SMC’s ability to continue offering... Read more →


Tips for heading back to school

COUNTYWIDE — As parents send their kids back to school, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has tips on how to keep children safe and healthy. “If you teach children healthy habits now, they will stick with those habits long-term,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health for the county.... Read more →