Stimulus funding felt locally

CITYWIDE — From its prime location on the sand north of the Santa Monica Pier, Back on the Beach restaurant seems about as far from Wall Street and the financial crisis as you can get. But when panic over sub-prime loan losses caused banks last fall to pump the brakes on small business loans, Back on the Beach co-owner Fred Deni... Read more →


Study: Businesses not harmed by emissions bill

CITYWIDE — As California works to implement the state climate change law known as AB 32 — aimed at reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — some small business owners have complained they’ll bear the brunt of the new regulations and the state’s economy will pay the price. But a new study that analyzed... Read more →


Say cheese

Underwater photographers are encouraged to submit pictures to Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for its “Underwater Parks Day” photo competition, a contest designed to highlight the undersea world just off the Southern California coast. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. Only one entry per person,... Read more →


Reach out to librarians

Bookworms who want to connect with their local libraries have some new numbers to dial. City Hall has created new public phone numbers for three library branches. The new listings are: n Fairview Branch (310) 458-8681 n Montana Avenue Branch Library (310) 458-8682 n Ocean Park Branch (310) 458-8683 Phone numbers for the Main Library remain... Read more →


State Supreme Court to hear Black Widows appeal

DOWNTOWN — A former Santa Monica landlord who is serving a life sentence for the murders of two homeless men for financial gain may have another shot at proving her innocence. The California Supreme Court agreed last week to hear an appeal filed by Helen Golay, 78, whose attorney claims her Sixth Amendment rights were violated during... Read more →

City Council

Councilman appointed to coastal commission

CITY HALL — Santa Monica City Councilman Richard Bloom has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission, a 12-member panel charged with regulating the use of land and water in the state’s coastal zone, including promoting access to public beaches. Bloom learned of the appointment on Tuesday after traveling to Sacramento... Read more →


Smoking ban advocates stay committed

CITYWIDE — Rent Control Board Commissioner Robert Kronovet may have faltered in his first attempt to ban smoking inside Santa Monica apartments, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up. Despite a lack of support for the idea from his colleagues and a legal opinion from the Rent Control Board’s general counsel that the... Read more →


Arrest sheds light on ‘shaken baby syndrome’

DOWNTOWN — A Santa Monica man is expected to be arraigned today on murder charges in connection with the death of his 2-month-old stepdaughter, the possible victim of a form of child abuse known as “shaken baby syndrome,” police said. Donald Hillman, 33, was arrested Monday in North Hollywood by Santa Monica detectives and... Read more →


Council hires new city manager

CITY HALL — With a unanimous vote, the City Council Tuesday selected Rod Gould to serve as the new city manager, City Hall’s most senior position, making him responsible for day-to-day operations and the formation of the city’s roughly $500-million budget. Gould, 52, is currently the city manager of Poway, Calif., also... Read more →

City Council

City Hall expected to upgrade audio visual system

CITY HALL — City Council is expected to buy itself an early Christmas present at its meeting tonight, approving the purchase of a $257,000 audio and visual system for the council’s chambers. The new gear would replace a 10-year-old system that “has become unreliable and increasingly unsupportable,” according to a city... Read more →


Holiday sales extend to apartment market

DOWNTOWN — As retailers slash prices to attract cash-strapped holiday shoppers, local landlords are following suit. Apartment rental rates are down as much as 15 percent from the peak of the market about 18 months ago because of increased vacancy, landlords say, prompting many owners to offer additional incentives to fill their... Read more →


Construction underway on new history museum

DOWNTOWN — Construction has begun on the new, permanent home of the Santa Monica History Museum, a project of the city’s historical society. Louise Gabriel, president and CEO of the museum, made the announcement Monday and unveiled the museum’s new name and logo. “We are thrilled that we will soon see the... Read more →


Man arrested in death of 2-month-old stepdaughter

DOWNTOWN — Santa Monica detectives on Monday arrested a man for allegedly murdering his 2-month-old stepdaughter, her death the result of a type of child abuse called “shaken baby syndrome,” police said. Donald Hillman, 33, was arrested in North Hollywood around 3:30 p.m. Monday after the Los Angeles County Coroner’s... Read more →


Trouble in the air?

Dear EarthTalk I ride my bike to work along busy urban streets. Should I be worried about inhaling pollutants from vehicle emissions and other sources? J. Kaufman San Francisco, Calif. The short answer is, yes, probably. Cars, trucks and buses emit considerable amounts of airborne pollution as they make their ways along city streets and... Read more →

City Council

City officials considering new green building rules

CITY HALL — Already known as a leader in environmentally-friendly development regulations, Santa Monica officials are proposing new green building requirements that could make the city one of the strictest places to build single family homes in the nation. “The green building requirements that the city has had have mostly focused... Read more →