Local man sentenced for murder

VAN NUYS — A Santa Monica man was sentenced Thursday to 56 years to life in prison for beating a female friend to death with a hammer. Adel Tabrizi Chapel, 25, was convicted Nov. 15 of first-degree murder for the Feb. 28, 2009, beating death of Denise Figueroa, 22, of North Hills. Jurors also found true the allegation that Chapel used a... Read more →


DA may probe election mailer group

CITY HALL — The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office on Thursday said it had referred a complaint about the election season practices of the group Santa Monicans for Quality Government to the District Attorney’s Office for a possible criminal investigation. Referring the matter to county prosecutors, City Attorney Marsha... Read more →


Big Blue Bus food drive

The Big Blue Bus is rolling out the holiday spirit to local streets once again with its annual food drive, which is in effect until Dec. 17. The goal is to help the ever increasing number of families and individuals impacted by the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. This year’s food drive combines the efforts of not... Read more →


Buy gifts, help schools

School shopping takes on a whole new meaning at Santa Monica Place this holiday season. Throughout the entire month of December, the mall is helping shoppers make valuable contributions to their schools of choice as part of the “Get Gifted” holiday program. People need only bring their Santa Monica Place retail and/or restaurant... Read more →

City Council

Local landlord pays for alleged rent control abuse

CITY HALL — A Santa Monica landlord who allegedly claimed she was going out of the rental business and evicted her tenants but then re-leased her units at higher rates, has agreed to pay a total of $120,000 in damages to a former tenant and City Hall. Under the deal, the landlord, Cheryl Kautzky, is required to pay $100,000 to Edward... Read more →


Jewish group loses appeal in dispute over landmarked property

SAN VICENTE BLVD — A state appellate court has rejected an appeal from a Jewish group that for five years has sought to demolish a seaside Santa Monica apartment complex, claiming it should be entitled to an exemption from historic preservation laws because it intends to build a home for Jewish refugees on the site. The group, Or Khaim... Read more →


Samohi senior to compete on ‘Jeopardy!’

DOWNTOWN — A Santa Monica High School senior is one of 15 players selected to compete in this year’s “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament, which will be broadcast nationally beginning Feb. 17, 2011, according to representatives with the trivia game show. Carlee Jensen first found out that she was selected when her family... Read more →


SMMUSD: Malibu charter school proposal is a bust

SMMUSD HDQTRS — A group of Malibu parents and teachers that wants to turn Point Dume Marine Science Academy into a charter school lacks a sound financial plan and sufficient experience operating a school, according to a school district report that urges board members to reject the group’s charter school application. The... Read more →


Holbrook wins sixth term by 56 votes

DOWNTOWN — With the vote tally complete, Bob Holbrook’s narrow victory over challenger Ted Winterer in the Santa Monica City Council race is expected to become official today. Holbrook’s victory, by a margin of 56 votes, or .08 percent of those cast in the contest, means Santa Monica voters have returned all five sitting... Read more →


Trading trays

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that New York City schools are trying out “Trayless Tuesdays” in their cafeterias in order to reduce waste. Why are trays such a big issue? And how can cutting them out on one day a week really make a difference? — Mark, Brooklyn, NY Unlike the old days when many school cafeterias... Read more →


City Hall goes light on some code violations

CITY HALL — Bicyclists who break Santa Monica law by riding on the sidewalk caught a break of their own last week, as the City Council agreed to reduce the penalty for that offense, and several others, from a misdemeanor to an infraction. The change came in response to a complaint City Hall received from a cyclist who had been given a... Read more →


SMC defends professor accused of unethical campaigning

SMC — Is it unethical for a college instructor to give class credit to students who help promote one of their instructor’s favorite causes? That’s the question that was raised at Santa Monica College this week after Stanley Epstein, an attorney and student in an emeritus class at SMC, objected to a long-standing part of the... Read more →


Businesses get new marketing tool

DOWNTOWN — For local businesses looking to draw in new customers with special offers, there’s a new online option in town that’s locally operated and geared exclusively toward Santa Monica companies. Launched by Josh Miller, a 20-year-old Santa Monica High School grad and current Princeton student, it’s called Spree... Read more →


You can’t sleep here

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, Nov. 17, at 6:50 p.m., Santa Monica police officers were checking on a property in the 2300 block of Wilshire Boulevard after the owner told... Read more →


Hertz, Enterprise add SM-based CODA to EV fleet

BROADWAY — Two major rental car companies will offer Santa Monica-based CODA Automotive’s all-electric sedan next year. The four-door, five-passenger vehicle can plug into standard outlets and gets 90-120 miles per six-hour charge. A shorter, two-hour charge can give it 40 miles of driving. Last month, Enterprise and CODA... Read more →