Ceremony: Santa Monica held a Veterans Day ceremony by the beach. SMDP Photo

NOVEMBER

The City continued efforts to address unlicensed vendors on the Pier with new metal barriers and the addition of five Allied Security professionals.

Santa Monica hosted a celebration of laughter with the Crazy Woke Asians Kung Pow Festival. Spread over four days, the festival featured over 50 Asian American comedians from Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Florida, San Francisco and Canada in 30 shows.

The Day of Dead Celebration at Samohi, a 20 year tradition, continued under the curation of Tania Fischer who said it was important to keep this tradition going to remember those who have passed away. 

The CDC recommended booster shots for all three FDA approved vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — and allowed eligible patients to choose which vaccine they wished to receive as a booster dose.

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the county and city of Los Angeles to find shelter for thousands of people camping on sidewalks and near freeways filed a proposed updated complaint after a federal appeals court gutted the previous effort.

Safe Place For Youth (SPY), one of the only agencies serving homeless youth in Los Angeles, began operating out of a new location due to pending construction that will transform their former home into an integrated housing/services center. SPY has temporarily relocated its Access Center to 340 Sunset Ave. 

Los Angeles County agreed to pay $2.5 million to two families who lost relatives in last year’s helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people.

Samohi Theatre was excited to present a live performance of the whodunnit comedy “Clue: On Stage!”.

Santa Monica College’s GIVING THANKS(giving) donation program returned to provide food, comfort and dignity to students lacking homes for the holidays. Each student received their choice of a turkey or vegetarian protein, fresh organic vegetables including green beans, potatoes, carrots, onions, plus dinner rolls, a pumpkin pie, and recipes and online tutorials to help prepare the meals at their homes.

The Church in Ocean Park said it was in desperate need of donations to repair its ceiling after a section collapsed, rendering the building unusable. The building remains closed until at least $100,000 can be raised. 

Santa Monica College said it would double the number of students on campus over the next two semesters as the facility continued to reopen post pandemic. About 4,000 students returned to class in-person during the fall with about 13 percent of classes being held on the ground. 

The veterinary system experienced unprecedented strain as several factors combined to wreak havoc on pet care. A surge in pet ownership combined with staffing shortages and a preexisting mental health crisis meant some vets could not take emergency patients and waits for routine care stretched for weeks. 

SMMUSD adopted a formal civility policy governing expectations and behavior following a national trend of rising tensions at school board meetings. 

Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to ban bicycle chop shops in Los Angeles. The ban prohibits the assembly, disassembly, sale, offer of sale, distribution of bicycles and bicycle parts on public property. Chop shops are spaces where individuals take apart stolen bicycles, sell parts and reassemble them, often in the public right-of way.

Planning Commission approved plans for a new medical development adjacent to Tartine bakery on 20th Street. The new project would be a Tier 1 three-story (45 foot) research/development and medical clinic facility consisting of approximately 76,167 square feet and a five-level subterranean parking garage with 275 spaces.

County officials took additional comments on the long gestating proposal to create an independent Malibu school district at a virtual hearing.

People entering a wide variety of businesses in the City of Los Angeles started to have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination as one of the country’s strictest measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus took effect. The new rule covers businesses ranging from restaurants to shopping malls and theaters to nail and hair salons. 

George Brown, the chair of the Public Safety Reform & Oversight Commission, was chosen to lead the Stanford Center for Racial Justice.

Santa Monica’s famed Nativity Scenes announced their return to their most recent home at Calvary Baptist Church for their annual display. Locals began the tradition in the 1950s and the scenes became a significant draw for residents and visitors alike before controversy forced them off of public land. 

A security guard at a downtown grocery store stabbed a man after a fight inside the location.

Longtime Chamber of Commerce CEO Laurel Rosen stepped down from her position and said she would depart the chamber in the coming months pending the hiring of her replacement.

The City and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association reached a settlement over an unfair labor practice charge filed by the SMPOA in response to the formation of the Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission.

The number of hate crimes in Los Angeles soared in 2020 reaching the highest levels recorded since 2013. The 20 percent year-on-year increase in hate crimes was largely due to a 54 percent spike in racial crimes. 

L.A. residents submitted more than 39,000 signatures from Westside residents who say they wanted to recall Councilmember Mike Bonin.

The Santa Monica Daily Press celebrated its 20th anniversary with a community party at Santa Monica Brew Works and a retrospective in the paper highlighting the paper’s staff and contributions over the years. 

Council voted unanimously to enact an ordinance barring close family members of sitting councilmembers from serving on any City board, commission or task force.

A 58-year-old homeless individual named Paul Sigler was hit and killed by a driver who immediately fled the scene. Police sought to track down a white Dodge Challenger with red racing stripes on the hood, which was suspected to be responsible for the hit and run. 

Film industry crew members narrowly voted to approve a pair of contracts with Hollywood producers after a standoff that came within days of a strike that would have frozen productions across the U.S.

Officials started the community input process for a mixed development project proposed at the West LA Civic Center. The project proposes a total of 926 residential units, including nearly 500 market-rate apartments and more than 430 service-enhanced affordable units. 

Four years after its first filing, SMMUSD settled a lawsuit alleging inappropriate fees for school supplies. Claimants will receive a total of $960,343 covering 476 full payments and 162 partial payments.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee resumed meetings for the first time since its former chair, Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, was indicted on federal bribery and conspiracy charges and suspended from the council.

Data showed few people were conserving water. Californians reduced their water use by a measly 3.9 percent in September, down from 5.1 percent in August. Overall, California reduced its water consumption by just 3.6 percent since July, when Governor Newsom made a request for a 15 percent reduction. 

DTSM ramped up activities on the Promenade including its much-loved tree lighting ceremony. Tens of thousands of lights flickered on marking the start of the annual Winterlit festivities.

A new ordinance went into effect that prevents customers at Los Angeles restaurants from receiving plastic utensils and napkins unless they specifically request them. 

Santa Monica announced its annual homeless count would take place again. The event is necessary to secure funding for homeless-related projects and was temporarily suspended due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Officials warned a coronavirus surge was likely during the upcoming holiday season and urged residents to get vaccinated to keep case numbers and hospitalizations down.

SMPD searched for a pair of suspects who opened fire on a victim after a robbery. The victim was parked when a black sedan stopped in front of him. The suspect exited the passenger side of his vehicle, pulled out a handgun and demanded the victim’s cellphone and wallet. The suspect returned to his vehicle and fled but the victim followed behind the suspects, who opened fire on him. 

With naming rights occupying a prime spot in the local consciousness following the Staples Center becoming Crypto.com Arena, SMMUSD adopted a set of guidelines for naming school facilities after private donors. While no facilities have been named in exchange for donations yet, the guidelines establish some basic rules should the opportunity arise.

Local actor and longtime community volunteer Alan Toy, 71, was cast in the role of FDR in NBC’s star studded cast of “Annie Live!” Having survived polio with partial paralysis at age three, Toy was the first actor to portray the role while having the exact same disability from the exact same cause.

The Pacific Palisades Community Council unanimously passed a motion to support a proposed motion in front of the Los Angeles City Council that would ban overnight vehicle dwelling in certain areas of Los Angeles.

On the heels of a previous break-in and robbery, the Santa Monica Music Center was hit again with a man throwing a fire extinguisher through a window and an accomplice entering and stealing multiple guitars.

Alongside a group of her peers at Crossroads School, Meazi Light-Orr began raising $100,000 to fund two new grades at the Kololo School in Ethiopia, which her adoptive parents helped found in 2012.

Santa Monica-based e-scooter company Bird made its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange (as “BRDS”) via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Switchback II. Bird initially traded at $8.34 per share.

Local officials expressed optimism about the return of tourism to the city as borders reopened to most travelers. International travelers were expected to trickle, not flood, back into town, with the hope of surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

With flotation meditations, galactic crystal tubs and hypnagogic lights among their therapies, the new IntoMeSea healing studio offered a wellness experience unlike any other. Based loosely around the concept of quantum healing, the studio utilizes a variety of energy, light and natural substance healing methods to offer an integrated whole person wellness experience.

The Pico Branch Library opened for the first time in 19 months.

A 22-year-old male suspect was arrested on weapons and narcotics charges after the car he was in crashed during a police chase. Officers found guns and drugs in the vehicle after the crash and one additional suspect escaped. 

City Council said it was uniformly opposed to the draft Congressional District map that would divide Santa Monica from much of the Westside and lump it into a district with large portions of the San Fernando Valley. Despite opposition, the map was approved alongside new borders for the local Supervisor and Assembly seats. 

Fourteen SMMUSD employees were fired due to employees’ non-compliance with vaccine mandates that had gone into effect on Oct. 1 for staff.

OCTOBER

DECEMBER