Dakota Lounge gutted by fire

WILSHIRE BLVD — Investigators with the Santa Monica Fire Department today are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that tore through the Dakota Lounge early Tuesday morning, destroying everything but the music venue’s sound board and stage. No injuries were reported, said SMFD Division Chief Kent Coble. The fire broke out... Read more →


Woman pleads not guilty in Redding murder

AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A Thousand Oaks woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of murdering an aspiring model and actress in her Santa Monica apartment. Kelly Soo Park, 44, is accused in the killing of Juliana Redding, 21, who was found dead on March 16, 2008, after her mother called police when she could not reach her daughter. In... Read more →

City Council

Council set to finalize LUCE

CITY HALL — After six years of work, Santa Monica’s general plan update — the document that will guide real estate development in town during the next 20 years — is headed for final approval tonight, culminating a month of sometimes contentious public hearings. The most significant changes to the draft version of the... Read more →


Police searching for missing senior

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police are searching for a 77-year-old Santa Monica man who has been missing since June 28. Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office said they found Donald Carter’s car parked on Friday night about 11 miles east of Interstate 5 in the Warm Springs area near Lake Hughes Road.... Read more →


Dangerous driving

Four people have been killed in Los Angeles County, and 299 suspected drunken drivers were arrested on L.A. County freeways this holiday weekend, the California Highway Patrol reported. The report covers the time period from 6:01 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday. During this 60-hour reporting period, there were four people killed in L.A.... Read more →

City Council

City Hall still fighting Embassy court decision

CITY HALL — Santa Monica officials are challenging an appellate court decision issued last month that could mean the loss of 19 rent-controlled apartment units at the Embassy Hotel Apartments, a residential building in the Wilmont neighborhood near Downtown. A state appellate court on June 14 said the property owner, Embassy LLC,... Read more →


Greening the economy

Dear EarthTalk: What does it mean when one uses the phrase, “building a green economy?” I’ve heard it repeated a few times lately and would like to have a better understanding of the concept. Rosie Chang, Islip, NY The phrase “building a green economy” means different things to different people, but in... Read more →


Campaign for schools enlists Hollywood stars

As “Save Our Schools,” the emergency fundraising initiative to support Santa Monica and Malibu schools in light of state budget cuts, enters its third week, more than one third of the target amount of money has been raised to restore third grade class sizes, while the initiative forms new partnerships to promote the fundraising... Read more →


Pier bathroom in the running for nation’s best

SM PIER — It may not have fresh-cut flowers, fireplaces or a crystal chandelier, but what the restroom facility at the Santa Monica Pier does have is some “whimsical” architecture and environmentally-friendly features, placing it on a list of the top 10 lavatories in the country. The recently re-built restroom, which... Read more →


Plane crash adds to SMO flight path concerns

SMO — Residents opposed to noise from planes that fly over Sunset Park and Ocean Park after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport were raising safety concerns on Friday, a day after a small plane that took off from SMO crashed at Penmar Golf Course in Venice. The pilot of the small plane, Robert R. Davenport, 60, was killed in the crash,... Read more →

City Council

Council to vote on sales tax increase

CITY HALL — Santa Monica voters in November could decide whether to increase the local sales tax by a half percent, a move that would bring in an estimated $13 million per year in additional revenue for City Hall. The City Council on Tuesday is set to consider placing the measure on the Nov. 2 ballot. A majority on the seven-member... Read more →


Boxer defends stimulus bill, praises Big Blue

COLORADO AVENUE — In the midst of a tight re-election race, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stopped by the Big Blue Bus maintenance facility on Friday to defend the federal stimulus bill, highlighting Santa Monica’s use of federal funds to create jobs by purchasing new, hybrid buses. “We are here today because the Big Blue... Read more →


Repeat offender busted for burglary

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. Monday, June 21, at 9:27 a.m. Santa Monica officers responded to the 1600 block of Ocean Park Boulevard (Bob’s Market) regarding a combative... Read more →


Helping drivers, bikers share road

14th STREET — A new marking known as a “sharrow,” short for “shared lane arrow,” was recently installed on 14th Street between Montana and Washington avenues as a way to remind cyclists and drivers alike that the road is a shared space for both modes of travel, city officials said. The street marking is a white... Read more →


Transitioning from fighting to farming

DOWNTOWN — Phil Northcutt’s path to agricultural work was a self-described “wild story” and “spiritual journey.” Northcutt joined the U.S. Marine Corps after finding work in the music industry unsatisfying. He came back from Iraq a few years ago injured and in pain and became addicted to prescription... Read more →