Number of affordable apartments drops

CITY HALL A decade after a controversial state law allowed rent-controlled units to be set at market rate once they were vacated, the rental housing market in Santa Monica has become more expensive. That’s according to a recently-released report by the Rent Control Board about the impact that vacancy decontrol, which was enacted in... Read more →

Celebrating green businesses

DOWNTOWN — The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce will host the Sustainable Quality Awards luncheon on Wednesday to celebrate businesses who are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly. City Hall announced the 2009 award winners last week, doling out four SQA grand prize winners and six winners in the Excellence... Read more →

City Hall considers building over freeway

<i>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... Read more →

Bumping up crops

Dear EarthTalk I want to start an organic vegetable garden in my yard and I would like to know how to combine crops to make better use of time and space. Val Thomason Denton, TX Most commercial farms concentrate on growing a few select crops to supply a wide variety of customers, but gardening at home is a different story entirely. Most... Read more →

Man stands up against Ye Olde King’s Head

DOWNTOWN — He goes out nearly every weekend, carrying the same red and yellow double-sided sign, marching up and down the same block of Santa Monica Boulevard, handing out leaflets about his grievances against a local pub. Since November of 2007, F. Daniel Gray has been staging one-man weekend protests of Ye Olde King’s Head,... Read more →

A place to rest for the weary

FIFTH STREET — At 52 years old and living on his own, Craig Blasingane found himself in unfamiliar terrain. He might have in the past been an entrepreneur and owner of three houses, but when it came time to move into a single-room occupancy unit last month after spending eight years homeless, Blasingane just felt out of his element.... Read more →

City Hall faces tough budget decisions

CITY HALL — Faced with a projected budget deficit of nearly $10 million, City Manager Lamont Ewell has asked all city departments to trim 3 percent off individual budgets for the coming fiscal year and 5 percent for 2010-11. That means programs could be cut, capital improvement projects put on hold and positions left vacant. Department... Read more →

Sentencing delayed for convicted killers

DOWNTOWN L.A. — The sentencing of two gang members convicted last month of killing a Santa Monica residents at the Moose Lodge in 2005 was delayed on Friday. The court granted a request by lawyers for the defendants for a continuation to give them time to motion for a new trial. The new sentencing date is April 24. The decision to... Read more →

Middle schoolers busted with pot

CALIFORNIA AVENUE — Administrators at Lincoln Middle School have suspended five students following a series of incidents that have involved drug-related arrests, cyberbullying and altercations reminiscent of the movie, “Fight Club.” Principal Suzanne Webb sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday letting them know of an... Read more →

Just what the doctor ordered

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. Sunday, March 8, at 1:42 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1400 block of Lincoln Boulevard — CVS — regarding a robbery that... Read more →