Toxic trade off

Dear EarthTalk: Isn’t the interest in electric cars and plug-in hybrids going to spur increased reliance on coal as a power source? And is that really any better than gasoline/oil in terms of environmental impact? Graham Rankin, via e-mail It’s true that the advent of electric cars is not necessarily a boon for the environment... Read more →


Westside residents sue over Expo line

COLORADO AVE — As many observers expected, a coalition of Westside homeowner groups has filed a lawsuit challenging the thoroughness of the environmental study recently approved for the Expo Light Rail line that transportation officials hope will connect Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles by 2015. In a suit filed March 5 against the... Read more →


Bus lines affected by 405 work

Beginning mid-March, bus riders on several Metro lines traveling through the Sepulveda Pass and in the vicinity of Interstate 405 in West Los Angeles should anticipate delays and intermittent detours due to work for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project, the 10-mile carpool lane project now under construction. The following Metro bus... Read more →

City Council

Council denies landmark appeal

CITY HALL — Three so-called “kit houses” will retain their historical landmark status after a split City Council voted this week to reject the property owner’s appeal. Located on the 1000 block of Ninth Street, the three detached bungalow houses are examples of the “manufactured housing style” popular... Read more →


Hump issues apology for serving whale

SM AIRPORT — Owners of sushi restaurant The Hump admit to selling customers banned whale meat, issuing an apology on their Web site. The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor charges Wednesday against the owners of The Hump and its sister restaurant Typhoon, as well as a sushi chef, charging them with violating the Marine... Read more →


Despite economy, most shoppers still spending

DOWNTOWN — Despite a rocky economy this past year, 62 percent of Santa Monica residents claimed their shopping habits remained unchanged, according to a local spending survey conducted by city officials and business interests. The survey, taken by 732 people, aimed to track the local spending habits of Santa Monica residents and... Read more →


Auto burglaries on the rise

CITYWIDE — Lulled into a false sense of security, some locals are leaving cars unlocked, and in some extreme cases leaving keys in the ignition, leading to an increase in auto burglaries and thefts, Santa Monica police stated in a bulletin released this week. Officers said criminals are specifically targeting subterranean parking... Read more →


New LAUSD permit policy could hurt local schools

SMMUSD HDQTRS — Already dealing with state cuts to education and facing a $14 million budget gap, local public school officials learned this week they will have to grapple with the effect of a revenue grab by a neighboring school district. Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines last month directed his staff to... Read more →


L.A. Planning Commission greenlights Bundy Village

LOS ANGELES — Despite concerns from residents about increased traffic congestion, the Los Angeles Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the development of Bundy Village and Medical Park, which will run along Santa Monica’s eastern border. More than 150 people crowded the Los Angeles City Hall hearing to argue their... Read more →


Chamber endorses school parcel tax

DOWNTOWN — With a long history of supporting local schools, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce on Thursday endorsed Measure A, an “emergency” parcel tax proposed by the school district to help close a projected $14 million budget deficit. Measure A, which would levy a $198 tax per parcel throughout the city, will appear... Read more →

City Council

City Council forces bar to close early

CITY HALL — The Parlor restaurant and bar on Wilshire Boulevard will have to close at midnight on weekends and is barred from allowing drinking games under a set of restrictions approved by the City Council Tuesday night. In a unanimous decision, the five council members who attended the meeting voted to reject The Parlor’s appeal... Read more →


Council pays up to help save pier concerts

SM PIER — Hoping to salvage the popular free summer concert series held annually at the Santa Monica Pier, the City Council Tuesday night unanimously agreed to give $35,000 to the series organizers. The gift leaves the Pier Restoration Corp. with a $57,000 shortfall it hopes to bridge with private donations. After most sponsors of the... Read more →

City Council

Restaurant charged with selling whale

CITY HALL — Federal prosecutors Wednesday filed criminal charges against a chef and the owners of The Hump, a highly-regarded sushi restaurant at the Santa Monica Airport, for allegedly selling banned whale meat. Prosecutors claim The Hump sold undercover operatives sei whale meat, some of which was obtained from the back of a... Read more →


Finalists named for Sustainable Quality Awards

A dry cleaner, house of worship, grocery store and a coffee house are among the finalists for City Hall’s Sustainable Quality Awards. For 15 years, the Sustainable Quality Awards have honored local organizations and businesses that make extraordinary contributions to the community. The SQAs celebrate business achievement in economic... Read more →


Do your part to recycle

Not sure what to do with that old computer monitor taking up space in your closet? City Hall has the perfect solution. For one day only, City Hall’s Solid Waste Management Division will conduct a free — that’s right, free — electronic recycle event this Saturday, March 13. This event is a yearly round-up of electronic... Read more →