Spring: Springtime in Santa Monica included recognition for local students who had achieved language skills and visit from the Secretary of Energy to tour local sustainability efforts. SMDP photos

The Samohi Surf Team produced powerhouse surfers who racked up competitive victories including an impressive team win against the historically dominant Palos Verdes surf team.

The Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction came to a gallery in Santa Monica. Over 200 donated artworks were on display at Santa Monica Place and open to all members of the public. The fundraiser also featured the clinic’s first NFT art auction and the digital art pieces were on display both in the gallery and on Nifty Gateway. 

With citywide water use down around 18-20 percent from 2013 baseline levels, new water restrictions recommended by Gov. Newsom did not result in belt-tightening locally as Santa Monica was already operating at reduced water usage levels. 

The County opened an online portal for landlords to request a penalty cancellation if they were unable to pay property taxes due to unpaid rent as a result of the pandemic. 

Linda Greenberg, the longtime executive director of the education nonprofit Santa Monica Education Foundation (SMEF), announced her plans to step away from the fundraising organization after three decades of service to local schools. 

A study ranked Santa Monica as 224 out of 230 cities for its violent and property crime rates per capita prompting alarm from residents and pushback from officials. Statements shared by the City, the Santa Monica Police Department, the Santa Monica Police Officers Association and City Council all criticized SafeWise.com’s use of Santa Monica’s 93,000 resident population to calculate per capita crime rates instead of the City’s average daily population of around 250,000. 

Southern California sweltered under an early-season heatwave  and the temperature in Santa Monica reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

Restaurant Week returned offering discounted set menus at over 300 restaurants across Los Angeles, including 29 in Santa Monica. 

The Santa Monica Fire Department continued efforts to adapt to its newfound role in the homelessness crisis. After a report highlighted the massive resources devoted to a few individuals (one 35-year-old homeless man racked up $272,665 in costs from fire department responses, ambulance transports and emergency room visits for 62 calls to 911. Another 50-year-old homeless man generated $182,947 for 24 calls over the same time period, and a 54-year-old homeless woman cost $112,429 through 17 calls), department launched a new Community Response Unit to help with the calls. 

A 21-foot-tall kinetic sculpture of David Lynch’s head was installed at the new apartment building at 1550 Lincoln — near the intersection of Lincoln and Colorado boulevards to meet public art requirements for the new development. 

BookMonster, Santa Monica’s last traditional bookstore, closed. 

Mail service resumed on the 1300 block of 14th Street after a brief suspension due to alleged assaults on mail carriers. The U.S. Postal announced the suspension due to several alleged assaults on multiple carriers. However, SMPD only had one reported assault from January and in that case, the victim did not want to press charges. The suspension of service made national news after residents posted the letter on social media and service officially resumed quickly with letter carriers escorted by members of the United States Postal Inspection Service, a law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the mail. 

In a city known for sky high rents, 2021 was an aberration according to the Rent Control Board’s annual report that said market rate rents for newly leased rent controlled units dropped by an average of 9 percent. 

Following community push back and concerns over equity in response to its cashless fare pilot program, Big Blue Bus once again accepted cash fares. 

Scores of union members representing Teamsters Local 911 – City of Santa Monica Trades & Maintenance Bargaining Unit rallied outside Santa Monica City Hall for a meeting to receive updates on contract negotiations. 

SMPD deployed its CNT, or crisis negotiation team, six time in three weeks. The team utilizes de-escalation techniques to free hostages, calm violent suspects and preserve the lives of suicidal people, among other scenarios. It responded to several calls where suspects refused to exit vehicles or homes and several suicide threats. All were resolved peacefully. 

A long awaited third Trader Joe’s opened underneath the new development at 5th and Broadway. 

Santa Monica bid farewell to the powder- blue “E” Expo Line insignia, as its trains were consolidated with the Gold Line expanding the ability of riders to ride one day all the way out to Whittier (in a proposed Phase 2 extension of the existing Gold Line). The trains kept the “E” but took the gold color. 

A brief video depicting a man hitting his dog in Hotchkiss Park went viral on Nextdoor, but to many neighbors’ dismay the dog was returned to his owner after receiving medical clearance from the City’s veterinarian. 

A man was arrested for stabbing an acquaintance at a local beach. SMPD responded to a radio call of unknown trouble near Lot 1 South, near the Pier, which possibly involved car theft and stabbing. Officers located the described vehicle and conducted a traffic stop in the 2100 block of the freeway. The investigation revealed a stabbing victim in the vehicle and officers provided first aid until SMFD personnel arrived. 

The Santa Monica Rugby Club Dolphins mens team walloped Eagle Rock Rugby Club by a score of 39-7 in the first round of the 2022 postseason. 

Venice-based Sameday Health paid $26.45 million to settle allegedly faked COVID test results for at least 500 customers. 

Santa Monica College opened a food distribution program on campus that offered fresh produce, together with prepared foods, artisan baked breads, shelf- stable staples and hygiene products, all free of charge.

Ukrainian refugees began arriving in the area including a family who were hosted by Santa Monicans as Russia’s invasion of the country continued. 

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Santa Monica on an Earth Day mission to study what she called Santa Monica’s “magic elixir” — the special sauce that has led to the City achieving LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible status for green energy use and conservation. 

Heidi Marston, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, announced her resignation, citing pushback from the LAHSA Commission over her decision to raise the organization’s minimum salary to $50,000. Marston joined the organization as chief program officer in February 2019 and has served in the executive director position since January 2020. 

The Rite Aid pharmacy located at 1808 Wilshire Boulevard, near the intersection of Wilshire and 18th Street in Santa Monica, closed. The nearby Rite Aid location at 1331 Wilshire remained open. 

The Rent Control Board debated a proposed City Charter amendment that would make several revisions to its powers. However the proposal did not include a way to roll back inflation related rent increases and Council ultimately rejected the RCB’s proposal in favor of a different measure that did expand the Board’s powers while limiting rent increases to 3 percent a year.  

The Bay Foundation asked regulators to formalize its Santa Monica Sand Dune Restoration Project just north of the Annenberg Beach House, while also expanding from three to eight acres of protected beach habitat in the area. 

Three out of every four U.S. children had been infected with the coronavirus and more than half of all Americans had signs of previous infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers estimated in a report. 

After a Planning Commission rejection, a City Council rejection and a lawsuit, the Oceana Hotel finally prevailed in its pursuit of a permit to expand its restaurant service to the general public. The Oceana Hotel is located on Ocean Ave between California and Washington, where hotels are not a permitted use, but is able to continue operating as it predates this zoning ordinance. In 2021, it applied for a conditional use permit to allow non-hotel guests to dine at its twelve table restaurant, after a protracted application and appeal process, the lawsuit finally prompted Council to agree. 

Sheriff Villanueva threatened to stop patrolling public transit throughout the county unless his department was awarded a larger contract to do so. Metro had a contract with LASD for partial law enforcement services but the Sheriff wanted to be the sole agency working the trains and buses, including at Santa Monica’s Expo stations. Deputies were not removed from the lines despite the threat. 

The iconic Vince Lombardi Trophy made its way across Southern California as part of the LA Rams’ Super Bowl Trophy Tour and it stopped in Santa Monica. The sterling silver Tiffany & Co. football was on display on the western end of the Santa Monica Pier and available for local football fans to take selfies to their hearts’ content. 

Santa Monica was not the only City struggling to come up with an approved plan to meet HCD’s ambitious housing targets. Beverly Hills, Culver City, Redondo Beach and the City of LA all had their initial Housing Elements rejected and several cities tried to appeal their Regional Housing Needs Allocations (RHNA). 

The Santa Monica Police Department hired several new officers including Elvia Medina, Bryan Sanchez, Tyler Bonura and Marcos Rubio. Several officers were also promoted including Lt. Cody Green, Lt. Tina Greer, Lt. Erika Aklufi and Lt. Lewis Gilmour. 

The City named a traffic circle after Donald Brunson. Born in 1907, he achieved many notable “firsts” in his lifetime. He created the first Black boy scout troop in the city, was one of the first Black men to purchase a house outside of a redlined district, and was a founding member of the First AME Church in Santa Monica.