Surf camps feel the pinch

SM BEACH — Giving surf lessons are fun until someone gets punched in the face. Two years ago, tensions were high between the 14 surf camps crammed onto the one mile stretch of beach south of the Santa Monica Pier. Some altercations even escalated to fist fighting. Last year, City Hall cut the number of surf camps from 14 to four by... Read more →


Witnessing history

WASHINGTON, D.C. A frigid 15 degrees, one and a half million people, the 44th president of the United States of America — the overwhelming elation and excitement at the inauguration of Barack Obama could only be described in numbers. After years of hoping for better national leadership, gathering in the nation’s capital this past... Read more →

City Council

City puts businesses on notice

CITY HALL A dozen local businesses that generate or store hazardous materials such as used oil and antifreeze have failed to comply with local and state laws meant to protect the public from exposure to toxins, city officials said. The businesses, the majority of which are auto repair shops, received warnings letters this week from the... Read more →


Council to consider options to fill Katz’ seat

CITY HALL For the first time in nearly a decade, the City Council will be tasked with selecting a new member to join the dais. The 30-day clock to find a replacement for late Councilmember Herb Katz, who was re-elected to another four-year term in November, will begin ticking on Tuesday when the council declares the seat vacant. The Santa... Read more →


Local restaurants feed people for (relatively) cheap

DOWNTOWN Restaurant weeks in San Francisco, New York and Boston are the foodie affairs of the year, letting people with refined palates and light wallets get out of restaurant Siberia and hob nob with the regulars. Now L.A. is in on the action. The second annual Dine L.A. kicks off on Jan. 25, a nearly two-week event that spotlights the best... Read more →


Making a blip

MID-CITY Heard of the Broad Stage yet? The $45 million performing arts center opened last year to much fanfare. It was built to serve as the premiere venue of its kind on the Westside. Santa Monica College funded all but $10 million of the ballyhooed project with a voter-approved bond with the hopes that it would serve both the arts community... Read more →


Despite sluggish economy, private schools doing fine

CITYWIDE As the economy forces locals to save money — cutting vacations and frivolous expenditures — one area that has remained relatively unaffected by the downturn is private education. In a city packed with independent institutions, whether it’s parochial like Saint Anne School or specialized like Crossroads School,... Read more →


MTA moves Subway to the Sea forward

DOWNTOWN L.A. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved the exploration of two possible routes for the proposed subway to Santa Monica on Thursday, allowing the project to move forward into its next phase. Decision makers winnowed down the number of proposed routes from about 17 to two, one running down Wilshire Boulevard and the... Read more →


When push comes to a bottle over the head

<i>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. </i> Sunday, Jan. 18, at 1:15 a.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to the 2900 block of Main Street — Main on Main —... Read more →


‘Extreme Makeover’ star offers reward

DOWNTOWN Ty Pennington, the vivacious host of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a hit-and-run driver. Daniel Seeck, a cousin of Pennington’s co-manager, was struck early Saturday at the corner of Arizona Avenue and 20th Street... Read more →


A new face at City Hall

DOWNTOWN You’ve heard of a Jack of all trades, but how about a Jennifer? Having spent the past 24 years in public service, working in the areas of recycling, public transit and animal control, Jennifer Phillips prides herself on being a polymath and she’ll need all the experience she’s gained when she becomes the new... Read more →


Fighting to save public access

DOWNTOWN John Kerwin likes to refer to himself as the Robin Hood of public access. The host of the late night comedy gab fest “The John Kerwin Show” would often attend tapings of a certain network talk show, take gifts given to the audience (some worth as much as $150) and then give them away to members of his small, but loyal... Read more →


Realizing King’s dream

WILSHIRE BLVD — On the day before the inauguration of the nation’s first black president, hundreds of people gathered here to honor the life of a man whose activism more than 40 years ago helped make the historic election possible. The celebration on Monday of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th birthday focused on how the... Read more →


Cops searching for hit-and-run suspect

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Investigators with the Santa Monica Police Department are asking for the public’s help in locating a vehicle involved in a felony hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a bike rider. It was the 13th hit-and-run accident in Santa Monica so far this year, said SMPD Investigator Chris Dawson. There were... Read more →


Caught in the act

<i>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. </i> Friday, Jan. 9, at 6:20 p.m., Santa Monica vice officers conducting a prostitution sting in the 1000 block Euclid Street arrested a... Read more →