Local street performers were banned from entertaining tourists visiting Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, Pier and Transit Mall during peak afternoon and evening shopping hours, as part of the city’s Twenty-Seventh Supplement. While the recent safer-at-home orders had affected the number of acts performing in recent months, performers had found ways to continue with a few creative adaptations.

California eased its coronavirus restrictions to allow up to three households to socialize outdoors, an expansion of rules aimed at people tempted to have even larger gatherings around Halloween, Thanksgiving and end-of-year holidays. The goal was not to encourage larger gatherings, Newsom said, but to recognize the increasing pressure for get-togethers and provide ways for people to act appropriately. 

The Fairmont Miramar project received approval from City Councilmembers, meaning Santa Monica’s 4.5-acre landmarked property featuring could soon be renovated to include new guest rooms, expanded retail space, and more. Following a 4-2 vote, with Councilmembers Kevin McKeown and Sue Himmelrich voting against the project, developers must head to the California Coastal Commission for approval. 

Mayor Kevin McKeown alongside 42 other mayors in the California Mayors Coalition signed a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to provide more equitable financial relief to cities. There was a significant inequity in the state’s allocation of $500 million in federal funding from the CARES Act between large and small cities. Six of California’s thirteen cities with a population of over 300,000 were allocated funding equal to $174 per person, however, cities like Santa Monica that have a population under 300,000 only received $12.28 per resident.

A Santa Monica based drug investigation has yielded one arrest in addition to fentanyl, heroin, prescription pills and seizure of $296,000 in cash. According to SMPD, officers began investigating the suspect following a drug sale in city limits. 

The Prize Patrol from Publishers Clearing House traveled to Santa Monica on Friday to award $10,000 to local resident Cheryl Pappas.

As America undergoes another reckoning with race, the Venice Family Clinic celebrated 50 years of fighting for justice in healthcare through a Zoom party fundraiser and a week of volunteer activism.

When UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez was awoken by a phone call at 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning, she had an immediate fear of impending bad news. That alarm quickly turned to delight as she discovered she was being awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics for her research on black holes, making her the fourth woman selected in the award’s 119 year history.

A Día de los Muertos Art Installation came to the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. Artist Ricardo Soltero shared his larger than life La Catrina statues to highlight the traditional Mexican cultural celebration of life and death..

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that playgrounds were cleared for safe reopening but officials gave cities the ability to decide exactly when monkey bars and slides would be safe for use again. Santa Monica’s Public Works teams prepared 12 playgrounds for reopening.

A Santa Monica man found multiple ballots for the 2020 election in public trash bins this week alongside what appeared to be other mail from nearby homes. Osvaldo Jimenez found the first batch of ballots in an Alley between 20th and 21st in the Pico neighborhood around 4:30 p.m. and he found a second batch on Virginia Ave in a recycling bin in front of the nearby church later that night.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office chose the OIR Group to lead an after-action review for the looting, riots and protests of May 31. City officials said publicly that the first of two reports would be finished in August of this year but the police department said it was unable to prepare the document and handle regular police work. In response, council authorized staff to hire a third party company to combine both reports into a single document.

School Board members approved SMMUSD’s plan to purchase a building at 1717 4th Street to become the new District headquarters. The space is adjacent to the Doubletree Suites and next to Santa Monica High School and the Civic Center. The $21 million purchase will not impact the General Fund, but will be financed through redevelopment agency funding and by leasing the District’s current office space at 1651 16th St.

An Irvine man was taken into federal custody on charges alleging he set fire to a Santa Monica Police Department car during civil unrest that accompanied widespread protests in late May. Nathan Wilson, 27, is charged in a federal criminal complaint with malicious damage to property owned by an institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance.

A Santa Monica day spa owner was charged today in federal court with accumulating N95 respirators in anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic and then price gouging by selling the scarce masks at vastly inflated prices.

Revisions to Santa Monica’s recently adopted leasing requirements were passed by City Councilmembers, allowing local homeowners to rent their homes for less than a year as long as they meet certain criteria. Council first tackled medium term rentals in August when it adopted an ordinance mandating all residential rental properties in the city must be rented unfurnished to natural persons, who intend to occupy the unit as their primary residence for longer than a year.

Nearly 20 miles of new protected bike lanes are planned for Santa Monica streets after local City Councilmembers approved an update to the city’s Bike Action Plan. 

Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud retired from her position and was replaced be replaced by former chief Jacqueline Seabrooks who returned as Interim Chief.

The Santa Monica College Board delayed discussions relating to campus equity after a study session triggered strong emotional reactions from officials. At the special study session held in September, staff, students and college stakeholders gathered to discuss aspects of policy and leadership that are key to promoting equity and guided pathways reforms.

With the prohibition on fast food restaurants in the Third Street Promenade set to expire in November, Santa Monica’s Planning Commission considered amendments that would make the moratorium on fast food uses with frontage on the Promenade permanent.

Two legal decisions reaffirmed Santa Monica’s ability to shutter its local airport at the end of 2028. In January 2017, the city and the Federal Aviation Administration entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree. Two local resident groups opposed the proposed Consent Decree, prompting a legal battle that recently came to an end when a federal district court in Washington granted a motion by the FAA to dismiss the case due to a lack of jurisdiction.

For 100 years, The First Baptist Church of Venice has called Venice home but a fire threatened to destroy a century’s worth of history. Residents believe it wasn’t accidental. Los Angeles Fire Department officials responded to a fire near the location and recorded it as rubbish fire from part of a homeless encampment.

Santa Monica’s Target held its grand opening at 1610 Wilshire. Word first spread about a new Target opening in the location back in January when the building’s previous occupant, Staples, announced it would be closing.

L.A. County recorded a record number of white supremacist hate crimes and crimes against the transgender community in its 2019 Hate Crimes Report. The report showed that there were 524 hate crimes recorded in 2019, which is only one crime more than those recorded in 2018, but it marks a 36 percent increase in hate crimes from 2013.

Santa Monica City Council instituted a one-year moratorium on the operation of autonomous delivery vehicles on sidewalks in response to a company called CyanRobotics, which began deploying contactless food delivery robots in August. Since the company did not apply for a business license prior to deploying its devices, staff sent the company a cease and desist letter, which forced the company to immediately stop all deployments in the city.

A court hearing reopened settlement proceedings for the lawsuit over alleged illegal school supply fees charged by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The court needs to assign a new third party referee and decide on procedures for adjudicating the 334 school fee reimbursement claims disputed by the District. Attorney Kevin Shenkman initiated the lawsuit in 2017 on behalf of parents Vivian Mahl and Gina de Baca, claiming that SMMUSD required families pay for field trips, uniforms, and school supplies in violation of the constitutional guarantee to a free education. 

Santa Monica Police Department crisis negotiators helped talk a nineteen year-old man out of a potential suicide attempt in Palisades Park on Tuesday morning. The individual sat on a bluff above the Pacific Coast Highway for two hours, during which time officers closed the 10 freeway below Lincoln Ave and a section of the northbound PCH. 

Following two and a half years of negotiations between Malibu City Council and SMMUSD, Malibu decided to reinstate its petition to L.A. County Office of Education to form a separate school district. SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati sent a letter to the City of Malibu expressing disapproval of the petition and urging Malibu to return to the negotiating table for the sake of preserving educational equity.

City Council announced that in December 2020 a new department devoted to sustainable, multi-modal transportation will combine Big Blue Bus, Parking Operations and Mobility Division, which is currently part of the Community Development Department.