Los Angeles County moved to a new voting system that will allow residents to register to vote and cast their ballots at any vote center for 11 days, including election day. The vote centers will be equipped with machines that voters can use to vote electronically and print their paper ballots.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, hosted a discussion that sought to examine the current state of white nationalism.

After adding colorful seating, lawn games, play structures and art installations to the Third Street Promenade, the team behind Promenade 3.0 moved forward with the next phase of the project: a comprehensive redesign of the street that is intended to give consumers who increasingly shop online a reason to visit the Promenade. The proposed plans call for new seating areas, event plazas, concession stands, stages and a dedicated zone for the Santa Monica Farmers Market, as well as aesthetic elements such as water features, landscaping and art installations.

The opening of Santa Monica’s holiday skating rink, Ice, was delayed while organizers addressed a mechanical problem.

A five-story building will replace a parking lot in downtown Santa Monica, adding another 100 apartments to the neighborhood. WS Communities, an offshoot of prolific and controversial developer NMS Properties, was granted approval from the Architectural Review Board to construct a building with almost 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and four levels of subterranean parking at 1430 Lincoln Blvd.

The St. Monica Catholic Community asked to modify rules governing a parking lot on 7th Street to facilitate the possible sale of the site. The parking lot at 1140 7th St. is part of the development agreement signed by the church in 2010 that allowed for construction of a community center, a new building at the high school and other improvements to their primary site on the 1000 block of Lincoln Boulevard.

Almost half of the roughly 2.7 million trips electric scooter and bike riders took in Santa Monica from October 2018 to September 2019 replaced car trips, according to a report the city of Santa Monica released.

A man was indicted for the fatal shooting of a camper in Malibu and attempting to kill 10 others in connection with a series of shootings over a two-year period between 2016 and 2018. A grand jury returned the superseding indictment against Anthony Rauda, 43 for one count of murder, 10 counts of attempted murder and five counts of second-degree burglary.

UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital’s 20th Annual “Party on the Pier” helped provide unrestricted funding to launch high-priority programs that benefit children being treated at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and around the world.

A longtime Santa Monica resident filed a complaint that alleges his landlords unlawfully evicted him from his rent-controlled apartment so they could raise the rent. Frank Strick moved into his apartment at 1836 10th St. in 1989 and lived there with his son until January 2018, when the owners of the property, Assaf and Natalie Tarnopolsky, evicted him so Natalie Tarnopolsky’s relative could move in.

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosted the New Heroes Celebration as an opportunity for the business community and city residents to welcome Santa Monica’s newest “heroes” including teachers and public safety workers.

The Santa Monica Police Department arrested two individuals in connection with a stabbing that occurred near the Santa Monica Public Library. Officers saw a man bleeding profusely from his arm. The man also had a cut on his neck and a significant cut to his brachial artery. The victim survived and the suspects were arrested shortly after the attack.

The Samohi Vikings made their first football playoff appearance since 2014. The team ended the season with six wins and they made it to the second round of playoffs before elimination.

City Hall approved a new five year water rate structure that will double rates. The compound impact of the five year increases will be more than a 100% increase over the total time. Rates are adjusted every five years and a recently released study for 2020-2024 recommended a 20% increase for the first year followed by an 18% increase the second year and a 14% increase per year the following three years.

The SMMUSD Board of Education adopted a resolution declaring November National Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The Southern California Association of Governments voted to recommend that the state require Los Angeles and Orange counties to facilitate the construction of more than 1 million new homes, departing from an earlier plan that would have allocated more housing to other counties. Santa Monica could be responsible for 9,000 of the new units.

Samohi’s Team Marine secured first place in the international Bow Seat Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition and a prize of $5,000. The club conducted a large-scale waste audit of Samohi’s campus, informed their peers about the importance of sorting their waste properly, and built an 11-foot-tall art installation.

The city of Santa Monica organized an event in Palisades Park to celebrate Veteran’s Day and the 20th anniversary of Santa Monica’s Veteran Memorial.

A judge ruled against Lyft and the city of Santa Monica’s objections to litigation initiated by an elderly woman who tripped over a Lyft scooter. Dorothy “Dolly” Green, 87, was on her way to class at the Santa Monica Community College Emeritus, a school for older adults, when she tripped over a scooter and sustained multiple fractures to her hip and elbow that required surgery.

City Council voted to extend the current pilot program governing scooters and directed city staff to develop a new program to follow that would seek to keep scooters and bikes off the sidewalk, prevent fares from rising and ensure a more equitable distribution of devices throughout the city. Council members said staff would be in a better position to enforce those regulations if the city allowed only two or three companies to operate in Santa Monica, rather than the current four.

The annual Santa Monica Film Festival returned for the 14th year and showcased a number of award-winning films created by local, national and international filmmakers.

City Hall announced a new plan to handle recyclable material that will send items to a processing facility outside the city or allow them to be redeemed for cash at a mobile buyback center. The changes were required due to the global collapse of the recycling market and the closure of the city’s only buyback center.

Two large retailers opened new locations on Wilshire Boulevard with CVS and Trader Joe’s welcoming customers looking for somewhere to grab their pharmaceuticals, snacks and cosmetic items. The recently opened CVS replaced a Whole Foods that left the corner of 5th Street and Wilshire and Trader Joe’s moved into a new building at 23rd Street and Wilshire.

The Santa Monica Elks hosted a dinner for 140 local and homeless veterans. The vets were treated to a chicken dinner, toiletry kits and a new jacket. The Elks had musical entertainment and a special guest speaker from the University of Southern California, Mr. Lightfoot who talked about job opportunities for veterans. The lodge was helped by 17 Girl Scouts from four local troops to serve dinner.

The rapid rise of venture capital-funded dockless scooters and bikes prompted the city to reevaluate its bike share program, which is losing ridership and revenue to the private companies the city has allowed to operate.

A Tokyo-based virtual reality company added a new dimension to the Third Street Promenade. Tyffonium announced plans to open its first American location at 1444 Third Street Promenade. At the company’s Tokyo locations, customers can either navigate a ship through a fantasy world or explore a haunted manor.

A drunk driver hit and killed an elderly woman in downtown Santa Monica. Rogelio Bobadilla, 28, was arrested for DUI, hit and run causing death and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Requiring developers to deed restrict a larger share of new housing for low- and moderate income households would bring development to a halt unless the city allowed taller and denser buildings along commercial boulevards and around Bergamot Station, according to a report the city commissioned from HR&A Advisors, Inc. on the feasibility of changing the city’s affordable housing requirements to incorporate a wider range of income levels.

Longtime dance instructor John Cassese was laid to rest. Known as Santa Monica’s “Dance Doctor” for more than 30 years, the native New Yorker first moved to Southern California in 1972 — long before he was a dance instructor coveted by Hollywood stars.

A man killed himself under the Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Police Department responded to the 1600 block of Ocean Front Walk and found a man had hung himself under the pier.

The Santa Monica Police Department prevented a suicide on the freeway. Officers responded to reports of a man on a ledge near Interstate-10 and were able to pull him back onto the sidewalk.

The Massey brothers installed a large statue of a homeless man at 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard to bring attention to the homelessness crisis in the region.

The Big Blue Bus continued to lose riders last fiscal year but it started to win some of them back in recent months, according to a report. Ridership fell 5% throughout the BBB system — from about 13.2 million to 12.5 million — continuing a decade-long trend of declining ridership.

About 900 people attended the city of Santa Monica’s inaugural Wellbeing Summit. The free event aimed to spark conversation and action around community wellbeing, a concept the city embraced six years ago when it started measuring residents’ health and happiness using a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Santa Monica received a new LAX shuttle for Thanksgiving. Los Angeles International Airport offered new shuttles in Santa Monica and Century City through the week of Thanksgiving running every hour.

About 300 households and businesses in Sunset Park were affected by a natural gas outage. A lightning strike during a storm fused a water pipe and a gas line in the neighborhood causing water to leak into gas lines.

The city of Santa Monica halted plans to relocate its parks maintenance crews to the Santa Monica Airport after neighbors said the heavy equipment would generate noise and pollution near their homes.

A new exhibit at the Santa Monica History Museum centered around a one-of-a-kind prospectus from 1917 by Charles Looff, the architect behind the Santa Monica Pier. Featuring nearly over 50 documents, including photographs, maps, letters and other ephemera related to the pier, the exhibit, titled “Santa Monica Pleasure Pier: A Look Back to 1917 from Today,” was compiled by Michael Murphy and Jen Luking to show the earliest transformation of Santa Monica Pier into the famous landmark it is today.

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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