Meet the Board of Education candidates: Laurie Lieberman

• Name: Laurie Lieberman • Age: 57 • Occupation: Education activist/parent/ attorney • Marital status/children: Married/two children, three step-children • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: 30-year Santa Monica resident; north of Montana (nine years); previously, Ocean Park and Sunset... Read more →


Pulling the purse strings

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. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 1:25 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the corner of Neilson Way and Pier Avenue regarding a strong-arm robbery... Read more →


Giving Santa Monica’s homeless a voice come November

STEP UP — As candidates go door to door to drum up support ahead of November’s election, there’s one potential voting block they’re almost certain to miss: the men and women who spend their days and nights on Santa Monica’s streets. Step Up on Second, a Santa Monica-based homeless services provider that focuses... Read more →


Police on the hunt for sexual assault suspect

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — The Santa Monica Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in a sexual assault. According to police, the attack happened Sept. 19 at approximately 6:45 a.m. when a female adult pedestrian was walking to Downtown Santa Monica. At the intersection of... Read more →


Study: Noise increase at SMO not significant

SMO — Residents upset over what they said was a drastic increase in flights from Santa Monica Airport over their homes earlier this year are blasting a City Hall-funded study presented this week that found there had been no significant increase in noise levels. The study by Mestre Greve Associates looked at flight data from a six-month... Read more →


Meet the Board of Education candidates: Patrick Cady

• Name: Patrick Cady • Age: 64 • Occupation: Retired teacher; Coach • Marital status/children: Married to Linda Cady, recently retired JAMS science teacher; One child, Kristin Cady Russio, graduate of Samohi • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: Malibu. 35 years • Own or rent?: Own •... Read more →


Santa Monica beach water quality gets passing grade

SM BAY — If the Santa Monica Pier were a pupil in grade school, it would be moved to the head of the class, finally making the grade when it comes to water quality, according to a report released by environmental watchdog Heal the Bay. Notorious for poor water quality, often earning Ds and Fs during the dry summer months, the... Read more →

City Council

City workers to cover 5 percent of insurance

CITY HALL — Santa Monica will soon cease being the only city among its peers in the region to cover 100 percent of employee health insurance premiums under a deal approved by the City Council on Tuesday that shifts about 5 percent of total premium costs to employees. The new deal, which covers all Santa Monica employees except for... Read more →


Meet the Board of Education candidates: Chris Bley

• Name: Chris Bley • Age: 37 • Occupation: High school history and government teacher • Marital status/children: Divorced/none • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: Montana, Ocean Park, Harvard Street/34 years • Own or rent? Rent • Public school or private? Public through college... Read more →


Meet the Board of Education candidates: Jake Wachtel

• Name: Jake Wachtel • Age: 38 • Occupation: Parent/producer/college advisory board member • Marital status/children: My wife and I have two daughters; Mia is a second grader. Emilia will begin kindergarten in two years • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: We have lived in Sunset Park for over... Read more →


Meet the Board of Education candidates: Nimish Patel

• Name: Nimish Patel • Age: 41 • Occupation: Small business owner, JD/MBA/CPA • Marital status/children: Married with two children in our public schools • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: Montana Neighborhood/six years • Own or rent? Own • Public school or private? Public schools... Read more →


Meet the Board of Education candidates: Ralph Mechur

• Name: Ralph Mechur • Age: 60 • Occupation: Architect • Marital status/children: Divorced/3 grown children, all Santa Monica High School graduates • Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: Ocean Park from 1973 to 1980; Sunset Park from 1980 to 2010; North of Wilshire from 2010 to the... Read more →


Bike accidents on the rise in Santa Monica

CITYWIDE — Santa Monica may see itself as more cyclist friendly than surrounding cities. But when it comes to the number of bike accidents, it ranks among the worst in the state. Out of 103 cities of similar size in California, Santa Monica had the third most collisions involving cyclists in 2008, according to the state’s Office... Read more →


Locals raise money to save ethnic studies in Arizona

PICO BLVD — A blend of students, educators and community members filled the Pico Youth & Family Center last week to rally support for the Mexican American studies program in Tucson, Ariz.  The program is threatened by the state’s House Bill 2281, which would make courses, including the Tucson Unified School... Read more →