CITYWIDE – A national aviation association spent $56,000 in support of a ballot initiative that aims to put the future of the Santa Monica Airport in the hands of the voters.

Most of the money contributed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association went to paid signature-gatherers, who collected more than 15,700 names, which were submitted to City Hall on Tuesday.

If enough of the signatures – roughly 9,100 – are verified by Los Angeles County officials, the measure, which has been criticized by neighborhood groups, members of City Council, and the city’s largest political party, would go on the ballot later this year.

 

Green fountain

Maybe you’ve noticed the green hue swamping up the new fountain in front of City Hall. Not a big deal, said Public Works Director Martin Pastucha.

The algae, he said, grows with the weather. The water is not chlorinated.

“Prior to the hot weather the growth was not as rapid and the water clearer, with the hot weather in (mid-May) we have seen a growth in the algae,” he said. “In addition the seagulls make liberal use of the fountain area and with their droppings further promote the growth in algae.”

 

Pro-marijuana initiative

The group behind an initiative that would allow two medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the city published its notice of intent to circulate a petition, last week. This allows proponents of the initiative to being collecting signatures. They will need to collect signatures from 15 percent of registered Santa Monica voters to place the item on the ballot.

For a previous article, the Daily Press spoke with council members on both sides of the issue and medical marijuana advocates; all of the parties the Daily Press spoke with opposed the measure.

 

Gondola

The architecture firm behind the project proposed for a large public plot of land between Fourth and Fifth streets on Arizona Avenue have been consistently mentioning, off-hand, a gondola lift that could connect to the Santa Monica Pier and the incoming Expo Light Rail station.

City Council voted on Tuesday to move in the direction of a taller project, which would be more conducive to a gondola, but city officials say the sky-ride is a long way from reality.

“There was some mention of this in their proposal, but no further details,” said City Traffic Engineer Sam Morrissey. “At this point I do not believe it is a ‘credible’ option, and there are many, many details that would have to be ironed out before we even considered a proposal.”

Andy Agle, director of economic development, said that the project’s development team members are likely the only ones looking at the gondola option at this point.

“Portland’s gondola addresses any area of town that has a huge grade differential between its two parts,” Agle said when asked about that city’s Aerial Tram. “Other cities around the world have been investing in gondolas, though that it typically because of steep grade differentials.”

 

New logo for the district

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District unveiled its new logo at the Board of Education meeting last week. The old logo, which was designed by a district employee, depicted green and blue squiggled lines resembling waves or birds. The new logo is crisp and simple, made up of different colored lines, not unlike the Google logo.

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