Former BBB employee sentenced in EZ pass fraud case

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A former Big Blue Bus supervisor found guilty of abusing City Hall’s rideshare program that provides employees with free bus passes if they take public transit to work has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay restitution and spend 45 days on a beach cleanup crew. Chief Deputy City Attorney... Read more →

City Council

Top 20 salaries in City Hall all over $200K

CITY HALL — The 20 highest paid employees at City Hall each earned more than $200,000 last year, including a sergeant in the Santa Monica Police Department who took home roughly $8,000 more than his boss, the chief of police, a review by the Daily Press of 2009 wage and tax statements revealed. The majority of those on the top 20... Read more →


Brownley bill holds charter schools to open standards

SACRAMENTO — Charter schools would be held to the same standards for public meetings and open records as traditional public schools under a bill sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley won final approval in the state Senate Tuesday. In addition to public records and meetings requirements, the Santa... Read more →


Alleged cooking oil thieves nabbed

SM BLVD — There’s a new type of scavenger at work on the streets of Santa Monica. Rather than scrounging for aluminum cans, this kind of trash can entrepreneur is looking to turn a profit by recovering used cooking oil from restaurant receptacles and re-selling it as biodiesel. There’s just one hitch. As two would-be... Read more →


Showdown brewing over bicycle lane

CITY HALL — Bicycle activists and their allies on the Planning Commission and City Council are headed for a high-stakes clash with bio-tech firm Agensys over a proposed bike lane they want incorporated into a proposed office development the company is planning on the east side of town. Proponents of the idea say it’s crucial that... Read more →


Hidden risk of scans

Dear EarthTalk: Should I fear radiation exposure associated with medical scans such as CT scans, mammograms and the like? — Shelly Johansen, Fairbanks, AK The short answer is…maybe. Critics of the health care industry postulate that our society’s quickness to test for disease may in fact be causing more of it,... Read more →

City Council

Former BBB employee convicted in EZ pass fraud case

CITY HALL — A former Big Blue Bus supervisor could spend a year behind bars after she was convicted this week of allegedly abusing City Hall’s rideshare program that provides employees who use public transit to get to work with free bus passes. A Los Angeles County jury on Wednesday convicted Crystal Buckner of eight misdemeanor... Read more →


Fundraising saves 20 teachers

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Twenty teachers in Santa Monica and Malibu classrooms this fall will have jobs thanks to donations to the “Save Our Schools” campaign, which raised more than $1.5 million for the financially-strapped district in the past two months. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s seven-member board... Read more →


BBB fares about to go up

BBB HDQTRS — A trip on a Big Blue Bus is about to get more expensive. As of Aug. 29, the standard cash fare for regular passengers and students on most lines is going up 25 cents to $1 per ride, with the fare on Express lines going to $2, up from $1.75. For seniors, the disabled and Medicare passengers who pay cash when boarding, the... Read more →


Dogtown surf shop victim of economy

MAIN STREET — For the first time in more than 30 years, the birthplace of skateboarding revolutionaries the Z-Boys is just an empty shell with little to remind passersby of its historical significance in the world of extreme sports. Horizons West Surf Shop, founded in 1977 by an original member of the Z-Boys skateboarding crew that... Read more →


District students boost statewide test results

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Santa Monica and Malibu students showed gains in both language arts and mathematics in the most recent statewide standardized test, the California Department of Education reported this week. The results of the 2009-2010 State Proficiency and California Standards Tests (CST) showed 70 percent of Santa Monica-Malibu... Read more →

City Council

Plans afoot for new pier bridge

CITY HALL — Calling the existing bridge that connects Ocean Avenue to the Santa Monica Pier “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete,” officials are making plans to replace the 61-year-old structure, a project they hope will be almost entirely funded with federal transportation grants. Built in 1939, recent... Read more →