Sales tax increase goes to voters

DOWNTOWN — If you have plans to purchase an expensive 3-D television or a new hybrid vehicle, you might want to do it now or risk paying more next year. That’s because the City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to place on the November ballot a half-cent sales tax increase, with half of the proceeds most likely headed to the... Read more →


Wells Fargo gives $264K to local nonprofits

In 2009, Wells Fargo & Company awarded 43 grants totaling $264,250 to nonprofit organizations and schools in Santa Monica. The company, combined with Wachovia Corporation, and its team members gave $20 million to Los Angeles-area nonprofit organizations and schools. Nationwide, Wells Fargo gave $202 million in grants in 2009. Wells Fargo... Read more →

City Council

Election season begins

CITY HALL — Campaign season officially kicked off this week in Santa Monica as those interested in running for public office are now allowed to start asking registered voters for the 100 signatures needed to qualify for November’s ballot. The fall election is expected to draw considerable interest given that five of the seven... Read more →


St. Joseph Center receives grant

St. Joseph Center recieved a $25,000 renewal grant from the William H. Hannon Foundation in support of its Family Center and Food Pantry Program. “My late uncle, our foundation’s founder, was a strong supporter of St. Joseph Center. Today, given the continued difficult economic climate, our support is even more critical,”... Read more →

City Council

CVB experiences funding cut

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of... Read more →


Fundraising campaign saves school positions

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Using lemonade stands and Hollywood stars, “Save Our Schools,” the grassroots fundraising effort to help offset budget cuts to public education, has secured enough cash to pay for three elementary school teachers, a counselor, a librarian and one music instructor, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu... Read more →


Finding summer work tough on teens

CITYWIDE — If it’s hard for an adult to find a job in this economy, imagine how hard it is for a teenager. With the teen employment rate steadily declining, summer jobs, which were once dominated by 16- to18-year-olds, are becoming increasingly more difficult to find. According to the United States Department of Labor, only... Read more →


Crews test soil for light rail

CITYWIDE — As part of Phase 2 of constructing the Exposition Light Rail Transit Line, workers will be conducting field investigations of the soil along the line’s route through July 20. The route, called the Exposition Right-of-Way, constitutes the following locations: 50 feet west of Cloverfield Boulevard, 50 feet west of... Read more →


Problem plastics

Dear EarthTalk Where do you recycle plastic stuff like sandwich bags, Saran wrap and plastic grocery store wrappers? Can they just go in with other plastics in the recycling bin? There never seems to be any information available about this. Renee La-Fountaine Lake Hughes, Calif. The reason you don’t hear much about recycling these... Read more →


Vidiots launches film study program

DOWNTOWN — Tom Kemper has been a card-carrying member of the independent video store Vidiots since shortly after it opened in 1985, while he was an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. “It felt like a good bookstore, or a used bookstore, in its depth of collection compared to a chain store,” he said.... Read more →


A toast for teens

MIDCITY — The fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. For an actor, that fear could kill a career before it has a chance to get off the ground. To help some teenage actors master the art of public speaking, Toastmasters Club 21, the Santa Monica branch of an international public speaking and leadership organization,... Read more →

City Council

Pier lottery system debuts to mixed reviews

CITY HALL — A week after officials began using a lottery system to pick which acts get to fill the 26 performance spots on the Santa Monica Pier, the new system is getting mixed reviews from the musicians, artists and oddball entertainers who flock to the tourist magnet to amuse the masses and make money. The lottery system replaced a... Read more →


City releases taxi cab franchise rankings

CITY HALL — Responding to calls for more transparency in its taxi cab overhaul plan, City Hall officials this week released new information about how they determined which cab companies should be allowed to operate in Santa Monica under a proposal the City Council will consider later this year. The push to shift Santa Monica’s... Read more →


Talk about a steal of a deal

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. Saturday, July 3, at 10:09 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard (Santa Monica BMW) regarding a... Read more →