City Council

City Attorney defends bonuses for legal staff

CITY HALL — Lawyers and other employees in the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office received $182,000 in bonuses during this fiscal year, even though other employee groups agreed to forego merit-based bonuses to help close City Hall’s budget gap and prevent layoffs. Twenty-six employees in the City Attorney’s office... Read more →


Deep trouble

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that the BP oil leak is much more of an environmental threat than previous spills from tankers, and if so why? — Nathan Gore, Pawtucket, RI No one knows for sure how the ongoing oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico will affect the deep sea ecosystem, but scientists are not optimistic. Oil from what is... Read more →


School district seeking donations to save teachers’ jobs

SMMUSD HDQTS — In a first-of-its kind bid to lessen the impact of school budget cuts, the Santa Monica Unified School District is accepting donations to pay teacher salaries. The school board on Thursday approved a plan that will allow donors to target their money to save programs they feel are priorities. Money can be earmarked to pay... Read more →


Ticket Angels take aim at parking violations

NOMA — It’s a demoralizing feeling, and one that, for many Santa Monicans, is all too familiar: Just as you’re getting in your car, there on the windshield, flapping in the wind, is a parking ticket — a $61 reminder not to ignore your block’s weekly street sweeping rules. For the chronically forgetful,... Read more →


BBB contract safe from AZ boycott

Big Blue Bus officials are urging the City Council to go ahead with a proposed contract with Trapeze Group, a software company whose future business with Santa Monica fell into doubt last month when the City Council voted to boycott Arizona over its controversial new immigration law. Though the company is headquartered near Toronto, Canada,... Read more →


Two percent rent hike OK’d

The Rent Control Board on Tuesday approved a 2 percent rent increase for apartment units that fall under its jurisdiction. The decision means owners of most of Santa Monica’s 28,000 rent-controlled units will be allowed to boost rents by as much as 2 percent in the next 12 months. Last year, the board approved a 1 percent maximum... Read more →


College latest to boycott Arizona

SMC — The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees approved a resolution Tuesday to economically boycott Arizona until it repeals its controversial new immigration law, the college announced Thursday, following similar moves by the City Council. The boycott will mainly focus on refraining from attending meetings and conferences in... Read more →


Story time with a fifth grade twist

DOWNTOWN — Everyone has a story to tell. And this Sunday, fifth graders from Will Rogers Elementary School will attempt to tell the stories of several Santa Monicans through their third annual Story Detectives show. The performance, to be held at Magicopolis Theater on Fourth Street at 5 p.m., showcases monologues written by the fifth... Read more →


Samohi softball wins title

IRVINE — Santa Monica High School's softball team won its first ever California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section title in the sport by routing two-time defending champ North Torrance, 11-3, Saturday in the Division 4 final. The game was highlighted by Samohi catcher Emma Woo, who hit a grand slam in the top of the fifth... Read more →


SMC students cut hair for oil spill

SMC — These days, when you get your hair cut at Santa Monica College’s student-staffed salon you’re not just saving money and helping stylists-in-training hone their skills. You’re also donating to the effort to cleanup the massive BP oil spill underway in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the direction of Cosmetology... Read more →


Cracking jokes for a good cause

DOWNTOWN — Domestic violence may not be a laughing matter, but Sarah Silverman and five of her comedian friends will perform stand-up to benefit Ocean Park Community Center’s Sojourn Services For Battered Women and their Children during its fourth annual comedy night fundraiser on Saturday. The event, held for the first time at... Read more →


Airport mishap

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, May 29, at 4:55 p.m. Officers responded to the 1500 block of Berkeley Street regarding an assault with a deadly weapon. Upon arrival, officers... Read more →

City Council

Rent Control Board wants powers expanded

CITY HALL — In a bid to significantly broaden the scope of tenant protections in Santa Monica, the Rent Control Board wants to bolster rules that protect against evictions and extend those protections to cover all tenants in the city, rather than just those who live in rent-controlled apartments. To take effect, the proposed changes... Read more →


Brownley pushes for statewide plastic bag ban

SM PIER — Free plastic bags could soon vanish from checkout stands across California under a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) that is set for a crucial vote in Sacramento this week. Brownley’s proposal would bar grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies in California from giving... Read more →

City Council

Council votes for Arizona boycott, with wiggle room

CITY HALL — The City Council last week unanimously voted to boycott Arizona businesses to protest that state’s tough new immigration law, but stopped short of pulling the plug on a possible $2 million contract with a company that has a facility near Phoenix. The seven-member council was united last Tuesday in passing a... Read more →