Chef pleads not guilty to murder charges

LAX COURTHOUSE — Juan-Carlos Cruz, the former host of the Food Network show “Calorie Commando,” pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder and solicitation of murder, authorities said. Cruz allegedly tried to hire three Santa Monica homeless men to slash his wife’s throat, sources said. The bail was set at $2... Read more →


Landlords sue to increase rents

SM COURTHOUSE — Tenants in rent controlled buildings should pay more each month to cover the full cost of a landlord’s tax bills, according to a lawsuit against Santa Monica’s Rent Control Agency filed last week by a group of local apartment owners. The lawsuit, filed in Santa Monica Superior Court by the Action Apartment... Read more →


Dylan to rock Heal the Bay gala

Singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan will help environmental group Heal the Bay celebrate its 25th anniversary by offering a special benefit performance at its Bring Back the Beach gala dinner on May 20. Held on the sand at The Jonathan Beach Club, the gala is dubbed “An Evening Under The Stars.” Nearly 1,000 guests will join together... Read more →


Problem with paints

Dear EarthTalk: At a meeting of a local art association, an artist who paints in acrylics said that doing so is more eco-friendly than painting in oils.  I somehow doubt it. Aren’t acrylics petroleum based? And aren’t some oil paints made from natural materials? — Linda Reddington, via e-mail Of course, there... Read more →


City Hall to add over 170 bike racks Downtown

DOWNTOWN — Cynthia Rose is the type of shopper city officials are trying to attract here. She’s local and she doesn’t drive. Instead of adding to traffic congestion, Rose likes to run errands on her bicycle, making more parking available for others. But that’s the problem. While drivers may have a secure place to... Read more →

City Council

Man who sued city faces perjury charge

CITY HALL — When it landed on her desk, the case was like scores of others that Debra Kanoff has handled during her nearly three-decade career in the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office: A man who had boarded a Big Blue Bus claimed he’d been injured when the driver closed the door on him. Now he wanted to get paid. As a... Read more →


Museum takes back the grass

MAIN STREET — For those who make it to Main Street’s Sunday Farmers’ Market early enough to claim a spot, the lawn outside the California Heritage Museum has long been a favorite place to spread a picnic blanket and take in the scene. But as of last month, it’s also a revenue-generating asset for the cash-strapped... Read more →


Chef arrested in alleged murder-for-hire plot

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Celebrity Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz, host of the show “Calorie Commando” on the Food Network, was arrested Thursday for allegedly masterminding a failed murder-for-hire plot, police said. Officers arrested Cruz, 48, at a dog park in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles at 12:30 p.m. Thursday... Read more →


LAPD sued by family of woman killed in crash

SM COURTHOUSE — The parents of a young woman killed after being struck by a Los Angeles police cruiser are suing the department and the officers involved. The parents of Devin Leigh Petelski, 25, on Thursday filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica alleging negligence. Petelski was killed Oct. 15, 2009 when her car was struck by a police patrol... Read more →


Racing to heal the bay

DOWNTOWN — Thousands of running shoes will be pounding pavement on Sunday, punctuating the end of spring with the fifth annual Santa Monica Classic, a 5K and 10K running event that benefits the local non-profit organization Heal the Bay. The race starts at Barnard Way and ends at the Santa Monica Pier for the 5K; the 10K continues down... Read more →


Mannequins to take over SM Place

In celebration of the opening of Santa Monica Place, slated for Aug. 6, a new program has been launched where up to 100 local designers, artists, retailers and community leaders will create individual expressions of art and fashion using mannequins. The program, The Mannequin Collective, was announced on Thursday and will make Santa Monica... Read more →


Makeover for those starting over

PICO NEIGHBORHOOD — When your job entails helping people, some of whom have been homeless for years, kick their addiction to drugs or alcohol, the last thing you want to do is turn them away. But that’s the painful decision senior counselor Michael Riches and his colleagues at the CLARE Foundation are forced to make daily... Read more →


A case of too much credit

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. Thursday, May 6, at 3:40 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1200 block of the Third Street Promenade — Apple Store —... Read more →


Soda fountain to add nostalgia to pier

SM PIER — The Santa Monica Pier is getting an added dose of old-fashioned charm this summer with the planned opening of Soda Jerks, a soda fountain and ice cream parlor that harkens back to a time when you could order a “black and white” — soda fountain-speak for a chocolate soda with a scoop of vanilla — without... Read more →


Council approves parking rate hike

DOWNTOWN — Parking rates at City Hall’s Downtown lots are going up, part of a plan city officials say will make more efficient use of parking structures and ease traffic congestion in Santa Monica’s clogged business and shopping district. In the first significant rate hike since 1997, the daily maximum cost to park in any... Read more →