But only a tenuous two week stay of execution, for our famous Muir Woods mural.

You definitely still need to write to your school board members at

to ask them to reject any proposals to paint over this historic, iconic, environmental mural. Many residents still remember passing by and seeing Jane Golden painting it there in 1978. Tell your school board why you want to see it remain, restored.

The next school board meeting, here in Santa Monica at the district offices at 1651 16th Street on Thursday, Oct. 17, will consider only the one damning report from some SMMUSD staff that calls for the mural’s destruction, with no alternative notion or arguments for its preservation. It would be great if lots of folks showed up at that meeting to show support.


The giant mural of a deep, calming redwood forest on the corner building of Olympic High School, sweeping south down Lincoln Boulevard and wrapping around the corner to continue up Ocean Park. There is not another mural space like this in Santa Monica, absolutely ideal for depicting a forest, with the majority of drivers, bikers etc at that very busy intersection getting an almost 3-D effect.

So even if you don’t love it, write the Board to ask for a fair shake. They are officials we elected, not part of SMMUSD. None of this is their fault, so please don’t yell at them. They alone have the power to save it or destroy it. Despite my frequent whining about how our local government functions, I do believe that everyone involved, save a handful with their own agenda for that wall, wants to do the right thing.

It’s late, it’s late 2019 and we all know our environment is in crisis. So you’re going to trash that long-standing depiction of CA wilderness? Not a great message, especially for the kids. WWGD (What Would Greta Do)? What would the Obamas say, to have this done in their name?


Started out great for me with a fantastic performance at our own Jazz Bakery, with renowned local master John Clayton, big band leader and so much more and one helluva jazz and classical double bass player, leading a program of… all bass. He gathered eight of LA’s best young plucker-slappers (and bows!), put them in all sorts of combinations, and it was endlessly fascinating, and good listening!

Then I had to rush off to the Monica Film Center for a one-night-only screening of Roger Waters’ “US + THEM” concert film. Waters wrote many of the best-known Pink Floyd numbers, so it was a bit of a greatest hits show. Very well done. With some politics mixed in, something Waters has become known for. Congrats to the Laemmle Monica for playing it loud enough (almost… loud enough for me).

But when I walked back to my car in the parking structure across the street, paid my ticket by machine and got to my car, it was dead. Apparently I left my headlights on, as usual, which “always” shut off when the engine is shut off.


Casey arrived and charged me up, and more oh no! He advised I should drive it for 45 minutes to really charge the Prius small battery. “I’m low on gas!” I whimpered — it’s past 11 now. But I filled up and dutifully hopped on the 10 and drove past downtown LA to Alameda Street and doubled back. Inconvenient, it happens, no biggie, but here’s what got me:

When I went to exit the parking structure, as expected my paid ticket, only good for 20 minutes, was rejected by the machine and it demanded $7.50 to let me go. So I buzzed the attendant, three times, who finally answered (oh, sorry, did I wake you or interrupt your video watching? I thought but did not say), I explained the situation and she said — “You still have to pay the $7.50.”

“You’ve got a camera,” I said, “you can see the AAA truck right behind me, this is not my fault, I‘m not trying to get away with anything — I already paid.”

Long silence, a sigh. “OK, this is too much trouble for me but NEXT TIME you will have to pay the $7.50! Sir!” I thought but did not say, who do you think you’re working for? Who trains these people? Why do we residents constantly get disrespected, from City Council all the way down to the invisible parking structure lady?

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: The best sports league? The NBA, hands down! After initially blowing it by slamming down Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey for tweeting “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” 36 hours later NBA commish Adam Silver walked it back and said we will always support the freedoms this nation stands for and the rights of our representatives to express that. Even though the Chinese government reacted immediately, threatening billions of dollars of NBA revenue from the hoops-mad largest country on earth. Contrast this with reactionary NFL owners who will steal your career for taking a knee and drag their feet on players who beat women.

Note: Rocket star James Harden, with teammate Russell Westbrook standing beside him, held a press conference to basically grovel and apologize to China, for his own GM. Never did like that guy anyway.

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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1 Comment

  1. Get people to start tweeting about the mural. This will get some attention when you hashtag the Obamas, and that there name is going on a building by destroying a historic mural that involves one of our history’s greatest enviromentalists.

    This is an outrage!

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