Cops search for serial arsonist

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica investigators are looking for a serial arsonist who they believe is responsible for more than a dozen fires since last June. More than a dozen residents were forced out of their homes in the 200 block of Washington Avenue after a fire erupted in a carport of an apartment complex during... Read more →

City Council

New fire chief named

CITY HALL — After a nationwide search that produced 20 finalists, City Manager Rod Gould has selected Manhattan Beach Fire Chief Scott Ferguson to lead the Santa Monica Fire Department, city officials said Monday. As Santa Monica’s Fire Chief Ferguson, 48, will earn a salary of $198,168 and oversee a department that boasts a... Read more →


Roadhouse keeps lease on life

SM CANYON — Patrick’s Roadhouse, the landmark diner on Pacific Coast Highway that in recent months has faced closure after its owner received an eviction notice, is keeping its doors open — at least for one more year. The restaurant’s owner, Anthony Fischler, was caught off guard last November when he was told to... Read more →


Building a better battery

Dear EarthTalk What is the potential for carbon “nanotubes” in battery technology? I heard them referred to as the biggest battery breakthrough to come along in years. And what else can we expect to see in terms of new battery technology in coming years? R.M. Koncan via e-mail The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries now so common... Read more →


Jury: Woman’s fall was own fault

SM COURT — In a law suit that could have cost City Hall millions of dollars, a civil jury has determined a Big Blue Bus driver is not to blame for the partial paralysis of an 83-year-old woman who fell shortly after getting onboard. In a case stemming from a 2008 incident, Beatrice Kaufman alleged that the bus driver gave her... Read more →


Police make progress on rape evidence

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — After facing considerable criticism for failing to process over 450 rape kits that may contain critical DNA evidence, the Santa Monica Police Department has dramatically changed its policy regarding the kits and has processed nearly 75 percent of those in storage, police said. Under the new policy, all rape... Read more →


School board votes to cut 92 jobs

SMMUSD HDQTRS — As many as 92 employees could be laid off from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District this year under a plan approved Thursday by the Board of Education. The layoffs would include classroom teachers, nurses and counselors and would save the district about $7.3 million. It’s possible, though, fewer... Read more →


KCRW hires new station manager

KCRW — Local public radio station KCRW 89.9 FM has hired one of its own to replace general manager Ruth Seymour, who is retiring this month after running the station for 32 years. The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Saturday is expected to announce they’ve hired Jennifer Ferro, the station’s assistant general manager,... Read more →


Eatery owners grill City Hall on market plans

MAIN STREET — Restaurant owners here want preferential treatment at their home-turf Farmers’ Market and say City Hall is dragging its feet on giving them the competitive edge they deserve. At issue is how City Hall selects vendors to sell prepared food at 13 booths available at the market each Sunday. With its mix of produce... Read more →


Samohi boys cruise into second round

SAMOHI — So far, so good for Santa Monica’s boys basketball team. The Vikings cruised to an easy 64-39 home win over Quartz Hill in the first round of the California Interschoalstic Federation Southern Section Divison 1A playoffs on Wednesday setting up a rare second home playoff game against Dana Hills tonight at 7... Read more →


Smoking for the holidays

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. Friday, Feb. 12, at 8:10 p.m. Officers were patrolling the 600 block of Ocean Park Boulevard when they observed a bicyclist riding without a headlamp, a... Read more →


Will Rogers wins achievement award

WILL ROGERS — After years of working by late principal Irma Lyons’ motto of “blood, sweat and tears,” Will Rogers Learning Community has received a 2010 Title 1 Academic Achievement Award. Will Rogers, a kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school, received the award after meeting and surpassing 2008 and 2009... Read more →


City Hall sues to enforce affordable housing agreement

SM COURTHOUSE — City Hall has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Santa Monica’s largest, single source of affordable housing, claiming the landlords failed to properly verify the financial status and eligibility of dozens of tenants, which resulted in some controlled units being rented to those who make too much money. The... Read more →

City Council

Knocking on history’s door

CITY HALL — They’re not exactly priceless artifacts, but two doorknobs once used in Santa Monica’s historic City Jail are causing a stir among collectors who want to own a piece of City Hall’s rich history. In a so-called “adaptive reuse” project funded by the federal government, the old jail building is... Read more →


App connects community

Santa Monica residents can now use their iPhones to report problems in the community — without ever making a phone call. With the new GORequest app, citizens can alert officials of an issue they encounter simply by taking a picture. iPhone-toting residents who see things like graffiti or trees that need trimming can open the app,... Read more →