Samohi teens vying for biology crown

SAMOHI — The next champions of an international biology competition could be a couple of local teenagers. Zack Gold and Christina Tsai, both Santa Monica High School juniors, are among just 20 students out of some 10,000 participants to have made it through two rounds of testing to become USA Biology Olympiad finalists. The... Read more →


Landing the big fish

SM PIER — Illuminated by Pacific Park’s solar-powered Ferris wheel with a pulled pork sandwich in one hand and a light beer in the other, Australian TV personality Troy Gray stood on the Santa Monica Pier last Friday night and watched as roughly 2,200 of his fellow countrymen drank and danced to pop music. The crowd was... Read more →


Local schools deemed ‘distinguished’ by state

SMMUSD HDQTRS — A trio of local elementary schools have been named “California Distinguished Schools” for taking steps to narrow the achievement gap while maintaining high scores on standardized tests. McKinley, Point Dume Marine Science and Webster elementary schools each received the honor, the California Department of... Read more →


What to read?

The Santa Monica Citywide Reads Advisory Committee invites community input for the 2011 book selection. The mission of Citywide Reads is to encourage a culture of reading and to promote book-centered dialogue in Santa Monica. Book selection criteria include the following: fiction, amenable to good group discussion, broad appeal,... Read more →

City Council

BBB fare hike delayed for SMC

CITY HALL — City Hall has agreed not to charge Santa Monica College more for providing its students and staff with unlimited access to the Big Blue Bus system for at least a year, though the City Council is expected to increase fares for other riders next week. Facing an estimated $6.1 million deficit, BBB officials have recommended... Read more →


Give something back

Gov. Schwarzenegger proclaimed April 18–24 as “Volunteer Week” in California, CaliforniaVolunteers announced Monday. “From building houses to being a mentor, the variety of volunteer opportunities is immense, varied and important,” Schwarzenegger said. “Those motivated citizens who stepped up to help the... Read more →


Concert costs went up as sponsorships vanished

SM PIER — Facing an 80 percent decline in corporate sponsorships, Pier Restoration Corp. officials announced in March the Twilight Dance Series was in jeopardy and rallied City Hall officials and Santa Monica residents to pitch in to save the annual free summer concerts. What they didn’t mention was the other side of the... Read more →


Great Lake problems

Dear EarthTalk What are the major threats to the Great Lakes in the United States and what’s being done to address them? Saul G., Racine, Wisc. The Great Lakes watershed is a unique and important ecosystem that contains some 95 percent of America’s fresh water surface area, and is a continental hub for birds, fish and other... Read more →


The inexpensive skies within reach

SMO — With the economy as it is, many warned Charles Thomson about beginning a flight training company. His perspective, despite the odds, is that this is the most appropriate time to start his company which is focused on making flying more accessible to the public. “I was learning at one of the other schools on the field and I... Read more →


Board member criticizes district over ninja knife case

SMMUSD HDQTRS — One Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board member is sharply criticizing the district’s handling of an incident in February in which two high school students were arrested for allegedly bringing nearly two dozen knives and a loaded BB gun to campus. The students were arrested Feb. 25 and 26 at Santa... Read more →


Saint John’s racks up sewage fines

MID CITY — Saint John’s Health Center has been cited six times since December for sewage system violations, resulting in $9,000 worth of fines as City Hall has ramped-up its efforts to bring the hospital into compliance. The citations were for pumping excessive amounts of dissolved sulfides — raw sewage that can give off a... Read more →


Gumming up the works

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. Monday, April 5, at 2:05 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 900 block of Wilshire Boulevard regarding a report of an assault that just... Read more →


SMPD’s Sanchez may be heading to Pasadena

DOWNTOWN — Deputy Police Chief Phil Sanchez, a 29-year-veteran of the Santa Monica Police Department, is close to becoming Pasadena’s next top cop, according to reports. Sanchez currently overseas the day-to-day operations of the SMPD and was responsible for coordinating security and planning for the Los Angeles Marathon, which... Read more →

City Council

Water costs going up for SM residents

CITY HALL — A water rate hike approved this week by the Metropolitan Water District — which supplies Santa Monicans with 80 percent of their water — won’t lead to an additional price increase for residents, but higher water bills are still on the horizon for local rate payers. Metropolitan’s board on Tuesday... Read more →


An effort to tame the wild

PICO BLVD — Over three years ago, a Pomeranian puppy named Kady was mauled to death by two out of control dogs who tried to attack Kady’s sister, an Australian shepherd named Kelsey. Kady’s owner, Kimberly Price, has now taken that tragic event and turned it into something positive — Kady’s Fund. Kady’s... Read more →