City Council

Council anxious to tackle zoning code

CITY HALL — The new zoning code is still months away from City Council, but council members are already weighing in. Last week, council directed code compliance officers not to enforce the current zoning code — which dictates land uses throughout the city — as it relates to two specific properties because they intend on addressing the... Read more →

City Council


Council tightens tenant harassment laws

CITY HALL — After numerous conversations over the course of months, City Council tightened up tenant harassment laws last week. The unanimous vote increases penalties, prohibits landlords from entering apartments for certain reasons, and modifies the standard for what’s considered tenant harassment. Tenant harassment complaints have... Read more →


Council moves lobbyist register forward

CITY HALL — City Council wants you to know your lobbyists. After discussing some specific philosophical beliefs about the definition of lobbying, council voted unanimously to have city attorneys draft an ordinance requiring lobbyists to register with City Hall. The attorneys will come back with a specific ordinance for council’s... Read more →



Council talks BBB and Expo

CITYWIDE — The train is coming but Big Blue Bus isn’t going to get all competitive about it. In fact, BBB officials are predicting a 14 percent increase in ridership after the opening of the Expo Light Rail. And in preparation for the coming train, BBB officials want to revamp the bus routes — eliminating redundancies between BBB,... Read more →


Local activists praise release of Cuban Five

CITYWIDE — On the mantel in Jay Johnson and Rachel Sene's Santa Monica living room is a bucket filled with $1 buttons showing the faces of five men; next to it sits a stack of letters, some more than 10 years old, written by the same men. The Cuban Five, as the men have come to be known, were first arrested in September 1998 in Miami.... Read more →



Field crowded to fill vacant Ed Board seat

SMMUSD HDQRTRS — Eleven people have thrown their names in to be considered for the open Board of Education seat. The list of candidates, who have not yet been vetted for eligibility by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district, includes a recently-ousted board member, a local real estate attorney, a district attorney, Santa Monica... Read more →


SMPD capture wanted bank robber

CULVER CITY — The scene played out like the opening of a TV drama. After hours of surveillance, undercover officers in an unmarked car saw the suspect enter his seedy hotel room. Once the suspect was inside, the nearby SWAT team took up positions surrounding any potential exits, officers hit the room with spot lights and Santa Monica Police... Read more →


Crime Watch: Homicide felon hides with knives

On December 8 at approximately 9:35 a.m. A Santa Monica Police officer saw the suspect sitting on the ground near the middle of the 1800 block of Alley 8 and began talking to him. When the officer asked the suspect if he was on probation or parole, the suspect admitted to being on probation. The suspect seemed nervous, so the officer also... Read more →



Polachek to serve as interim city manager

CITY HALL — When City Manager Rod Gould retires at the end of next month, Assistant City Manager Elaine Polachek will take the reins, at least until Gould's replacement is selected. City Council voted unanimously to name Polachek to the position of interim city manager upon Gould's departure. Polachek, who has in the past served as Santa... Read more →


Expo trains will hit tracks by March

COLORADO AVE — I hear the train a-comin’. The company tasked with constructing the incoming Expo Light Rail says that trains should be on the tracks for testing by March at the latest. “It's going to be in the first quarter of 2015,” said Skanska-Rados construction manager Robb Fonkalsrud. “Probably more towards the latter part of... Read more →


Schools working against rising water usage

SMMUSD HDQRTRS — Like everybody else in the city, school district officials are working to keep water usage down in the midst of this historic drought. The district’s water usage increased slightly last school year as it did the school year prior. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District used 51.6 million gallons of water in the... Read more →


Former school administrator dies at age 88

Richard Bailey Wagnon, a 60-year Santa Monica resident, former director of the Santa Monica High School Band, and former Music Supervisor of the Santa Monica Unified School District, died on Nov. 25, 2014, from complications of a heart valve transplant.  He was 88. He enjoyed a long career with the Santa Monica schools.  He began as the... Read more →