Food bank serves record number of Westsiders

22nd STREET — Roughly 90,000 people received some form of food assistance last year from the 65 pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters supplied by Santa Monica-based Westside Food Bank, officials with the nonprofit announced Wednesday. That is a 50 percent increase from 2005, said Bruce Rankin, executive director of the food... Read more →


Illustrating Earth Day

Students in grades K-12 are being asked to express what sustainable transit means to them in the form of a poster contest for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day sponsored by City Hall’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment. This is the second year that City Hall has held the student poster contest. The intent is to raise... Read more →


Calling all writers

The Santa Monica Public Library, in conjunction with City Hall’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment, are looking for entries for the fourth annual Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Awards. The Green Price was created to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality books that make... Read more →


Resident critically injured in hit-and-run

MAIN STREET — A 28-year-old Santa Monica woman was in critical condition with severe head trauma Tuesday after being struck by a car while in a crosswalk on Main Street, police said. The woman, who was hit Monday night by a driver going at least 40 mph, may not recover from her injuries, leaving open the possibility that more serious... Read more →


School board asks voters for $5.7M

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Voters will be asked in a special election in May to support an “emergency” $198 per parcel property tax to prop up the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which is facing a projected $14.5 million deficit. In a nod to the recession, the board decided not to ask for $225 per parcel, which a district... Read more →


Senator seeks cadmium ban

State Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica) has introduced a bill that would ban cadmium use in children’s jewelry in California. Pavley previously authored the nation’s first ban on using lead in children’s jewelry. She created the new bill after learning manufacturers are using cadmium in place of lead. The U.S. Centers for... Read more →


Spreading sustainability across globe

CITY HALL — Delegates from Gumi, South Korea visited Santa Monica Tuesday as part of a seven-day sustainability tour of some of California’s greenest cities. The delegates hoped to observe and learn green policies and programs while sharing some environmental ideas of their own. The industrial city of Gumi — 95 percent of... Read more →


U.S. Census prepping for homeless count

CITY WIDE — U.S. Census Bureau workers are gearing up to count the nation’s homeless as part of the 2010 Census at the end of March, a once-per-decade effort that this year will rely heavily on the expertise of local homeless service providers. In Santa Monica, which conducts an annual count of its homeless population and... Read more →


Bank failure means new name for local branch

DOWNTOWN — On Monday morning Santa Monicans who deposit their checks at First Regional Bank were in for a surprise. The bank, which had a branch at 501 Santa Monica Blvd., was seized by federal regulators over the weekend and quickly sold off to Raleigh, N.C.-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Its failure was blamed on... Read more →


UC signs $147M deal to rent local medical facility

MID-CITY — The UCLA Hospital System is expanding its presence in Santa Monica with a 30-year deal to occupy a new outpatient surgery facility to be built on 16th Street. The three-story, 45,000 square-foot project is planned for a parking lot across the street from the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital and... Read more →


Volunteers needed for tours

The Santa Monica Conservancy is seeking volunteers for a new docent training class for the Annenberg Community Beach House at 415 Pacific Coast Highway. The conservancy, in partnership with the city of Santa Monica, trains docents to give guided tours of the site, which opened to great acclaim last spring.  The Annenberg Community Beach... Read more →


Board set to decide on tax for schools

SMMUSD HDQTRS — School board members have already decided to ask Santa Monica and Malibu residents to pay more to offset lower state spending on public education. Tonight, they’ll decide how much to ask voters to fork over. Facing at least a $12 million budget gap, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board is aiming... Read more →


The land of wasting food

Dear EarthTalk What are the environmental implications of all the food we throw away here in the United States? Mike Schiller Cambridge, MA Food waste is a huge issue in America, especially in light of the growing divide between the profligate rich and the hungry poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss... Read more →


After more than 20 years, SMC returns to Malibu

MALIBU — For the first time in more than two decades, Santa Monica College will offer courses for credit here as part of a pilot program that will help develop a plan for a permanent campus in the Civic Center, something which the college is required to do as part of a 2004 bond measure, officials with SMC announced Friday. The... Read more →


SM Place adds three more shops

DOWNTOWN — Real estate developer Macerich this week announced three new tenants at Santa Monica Place, its revamped outdoor mall just south of the Third Street Promenade scheduled to reopen in August. The retailers are: women’s clothing store Tory Burch, women’s shoe seller Charles David and Ben Bridge Jeweler. Randy Brant,... Read more →