Hump owners, chef catch a break

DOWNTOWN — Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge this week to dismiss criminal charges filed against the owners and a chef at The Hump, a former high-end sushi restaurant at the Santa Monica Airport that served endangered whale meat in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In a single-page notice filed in Los Angeles... Read more →


Most area parents largely unaware of ‘choking game’

CITYWIDE — Even if you’ve never heard of it, there’s a good chance your son or daughter has. Researchers say the “choking game,” a risky activity in which adolescents deprive their brains of oxygen by strangling themselves, hyperventilating or by putting pressure on their chests in order to achieve a brief... Read more →


Wine bar coming to Santa Monica Place

DOWNTOWN — When Santa Monica Place opens this August, its food court will look dramatically different than its predecessor. Not only will it be located on the third floor and include views of the Pacific Ocean, but the new version will also include six chef-driven restaurants and a wine bar and beer garden. Officials with Macerich Co.... Read more →


Council delays vote on bus fare increase

CITY HALL — The City Council on Tuesday put off a decision on increasing Big Blue Bus fares at least until its next meeting on May 11, a move a spokeswoman for the bus system said could make it more difficult for transportation officials to implement a potential fare increase by their Aug. 29 target date. BBB officials said they need a... Read more →


District official heading to Manhattan Beach schools

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Assistant Superintendent Mike Matthews has been tapped to run the public school system in Manhattan Beach. Officials with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District made the announcement late Tuesday, saying Matthews, who is currently in charge of human resources at the district, will become superintendent of the... Read more →


Get registered

Santa Monica residents who are eligible to vote have until Monday, May 10 to register for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s special parcel tax election. This election is being conducted as a Vote-by-Mail election. Mail-in ballots must be received by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk by May... Read more →


12-year-old dies from self strangulation

LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL — The death of a 12-year-old student here last week is being blamed on the “choking game,” which authorities said has become popular mainly among young boys and involves manual strangulation in order to get high without using drugs or alcohol. Erik Robinson, a sixth grader at Lincoln Middle School, was... Read more →


Anti-smoking ideas debated

CITYWIDE — There’s a stark choice facing proponents of tougher anti-smoking laws in Santa Monica. Should they urge the City Council to expand its existing bans on smoking in many public places to include private balconies and patios in apartment buildings? Or should they back the campaign of Rent Control Board Commissioner Robert... Read more →


Low-priced parking relief for Downtown SM employees

DOWNTOWN — Those who work for bosses too cheap to pay for parking Downtown will have some more affordable options come May 1. Instead of doing the parking shuffle — moving cars every two or three hours to avoid paying parking structure fees or getting a $62 ticket for staying too long — employees can now purchase a monthly... Read more →


Appropriate app

The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank has launched a free app for the iPhone. The new Pantry Locator provides a portal for users to make cash donations using software via their iPhone or iPod and searches for local food pantries using online GPS technology. SPINX, Inc., a leading Los Angeles-based Web design and development services provider,... Read more →


Big bucks from local ladies

The Santa Monica College Foundation has received a $100,000 donation from the Santa Monica Bay Chapter of the American Association of University Women for a new scholarship to be earmarked primarily for women students pursuing careers in nursing and education. The gift has a two-fold significance. It is the largest one-time contribution from... Read more →

City Council

Council to replace garbage truck fleet

CITY HALL — Santa Monica makes up just a tiny portion of the Ballona Creek Watershed — .32 percent of its overall land area — but City Hall still has to pay its fair share to help limit urban runoff from flowing into the Santa Monica Bay. Accordingly, the City Council on Tuesday is being asked to approve $3,511 to cover... Read more →


Parking initiative could cost City Hall millions

PCH — For those who love the surf and sand, an initiative expected to be on the statewide ballot this November that would make parking free at Santa Monica State Beach may seem like a gift from the gods. But it’s causing concern at City Hall, where officials say it could cut into Downtown parking revenues and complicate... Read more →


Being wood wise

Dear EarthTalk: Which woods are OK to purchase, and which are not, in the interest of preserving forests and not harming those who depend upon them? Jon Steiner, Boise, ID Deforestation continues to be one of the world’s biggest environmental problems, especially in fast developing regions like South America, Southeast Asia and Africa.... Read more →

City Council

Council ponders lifting beekeeping ban

CITY HALL — Santa Monica could take a step toward repealing its beekeeping ban on Tuesday, as the City Council is set to discuss a proposal that also calls for setting up a bee sanctuary on City Hall-owned land. The plan has the ardent support of the Los Angeles-area beekeeping community, members of which have criticized Santa Monica... Read more →