Bley bets on appetite for change

DOWNTOWN — Change may be a popular buzz word for candidates in elections around the country this year, but can it work in Santa Monica? After all, the effects of the recession here have left services largely intact, and even the school district, which has suffered because of the state budget crisis, is weathering the storm better than... Read more →


Health class tackles teen suicide

OLYMPIC HIGH — With teen suicide a growing concern across the country, students at Santa Monica’s Olympic High School are getting an added amount of attention, courtesy of a couple of UCLA graduate students with plans to make a difference in the mental health field. After being awarded an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Ashley... Read more →


Inspiring young minds

The Virginia Avenue Project, a free Santa Monica-based after-school arts program, will celebrate its 18th anniversary with their annual Inspiration Gala, this year named the “Power of the Pencil,” on Oct. 18, at Casa del Mar. The evening includes dinner and also features both a silent and live auction with gifts from Saks Fifth... Read more →


YWCA help kids have a happy Halloween

The YWCA of Santa Monica has been collecting Halloween costumes for the past two months and will begin offering them to local families in need in the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica and the Police Activities League here in Santa Monica, as well as to some local churches, including the Delaware Avenue SDA Church and the Church on... Read more →


Arlington West gets artful commemoration

PICO BLVD — Arlington West — the makeshift cemetery that volunteers construct on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier each Sunday as a memorial to troops killed in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — is by now a familiar part of the landscape for most locals. Now, six and-a-half years after its debut in Santa Monica, the... Read more →


Cops bust two for transporting medical pot

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, Oct. 5, at 12:20 a.m., Santa Monica police officers on routine patrol in the area of Cloverfield Boulevard and Colorado Avenue observed a vehicle... Read more →


Long shot candidate goes all-out

So, who is Jeff Decker? As a write-in candidate for City Council whose name won’t appear on the ballot, local odds-makers are rating him a heavy underdog — to put it mildly — to win one of five seats that are up for grabs on Nov. 2. But that hasn’t kept him from going all-out, printing up campaign signs, holding... Read more →

City Council

Council gets first peek at park plans

CITY HALL — The City Council on Tuesday got its first chance to formally weigh in on early-stage concepts for what is likely to become the most significant public space in Santa Monica — and the council’s most lasting legacy. Leaders for the first time on Tuesday reviewed preliminary designs for the Palisades Garden Walk and... Read more →


School board member breaks up another fight

MALIBU HIGH — Trouble, it seems, is always right around the corner. Tuesday evening, as school board member Oscar de la Torre was heading to a candidate forum being held at Malibu High School, for the second time this year, he saw a fight in progress and stopped to intervene. The scuffle had apparently broken out between a group of six... Read more →


Mary Jo Deschanel stars in one-woman show about death

DOWNTOWN — Like many creative minds, Mary Jo Deschanel keeps a journal for inspiration, recording everything she hears and sees. From the dark director David Lynch to the playwriting professor at UCLA, she’s encountered her fair share of colorful characters. After spending nearly her entire life in Hollywood, a marriage to... Read more →


Prosecutor says fear a factor in murder trial

DOWNTOWN L.A. — Seated between his two lawyers in a Downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday for the first day of a trial that could result in the death penalty against him, William Vasquez, wearing a blue dress shirt with a tie hanging awkwardly past his waistline, looked nothing like the man in the mug shot that prosecutors... Read more →


Burglaries hit Wilshire

WILSHIRE BLVD — Authorities are investigating a rash of commercial burglaries that happened overnight Sunday on the east end of Wilshire Boulevard, the Santa Monica Police Department reported. SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler said at least five businesses in the 2900 and 3000 blocks of Wilshire Boulevard were targeted, with the suspect or suspects... Read more →


OPCC’s Sojourn to receive proceeds from GUESS T-shirt

OPCC — In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, fashion brand GUESS is rolling out a special edition T-shirt that will benefit Sojourn Services for Battered Women and their Children, a project spearheaded by OPCC. The graphic shirt, $24, will debut Oct. 14 at a launch party at GUESS’ Hollywood and... Read more →


Final Moose Lodge murder suspect’s trial to begin

DOWNTOWN L.A. — Opening statements are expected this afternoon in the trial of William Vasquez, an alleged hard-core gang member who is charged with the murders of five people, including two Santa Monica men who were brutally gunned down while attending a birthday party at the Moose Lodge in Ocean Park, prosecutors with the Los Angeles... Read more →