Summer: With virus fears easing, many activities, including the Santa Monica Classic, returned. The season also saw the scion of a beloved local family appointed to a judge position. SMDP photo

The Santa Monica Daily Press won a lawsuit filed by a local woman accused of harassing tenants. Santa Monica resident Patricia Anglano, who stated in court she is also known as Tricia Anglano, filed a small claims suit against the Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Lookout and the Canyon News. She claimed that publication of a news story of a settlement between Anglano and the City of Santa Monica defamed her and sought $10,000 from each publication. The court rejected her case. 

LA Metro released the environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed rail expansion, called the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Project, that could still be a whopping 13 years in the future but would enable Santa Monicans to get as far as Whittier on expanded public transit routes without changing trains or waiting for a transfer. 

Locals participated in Surfrider’s annual July 5 beach cleanup as the day has become statistically the dirtiest beach day of the year after July 4 parties and fireworks. 

Gov. Newsom signed a bill by State Senator Ben Allen designed to make all single-use plastics used in California recyclable in the next 10 years, while also compelling plastic producers to foot the bill for enforcement.

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Caltrans officials revealed plans to paint bike lanes along 16 miles of Pacific Coast Highway — from Malibu Lagoon to the Ventura County Line — and said they might remove up to 2,171 parking spaces along the highway to wedge the bike lanes in.

The creator of waffle joint Bru’s Wiffle opened a second whimsically named Santa Monica breakfast spot: Flapjax. 

Tweaks to the City’s Fiscal Year 2022 to 2033 budget leveraged one time funds and new revenue sources in an effort to restore sorely desired resident services such as after school care, sports field access and library services.

Council approved a program establishing standards and fees for businesses to utilize parking spaces for outdoor dining and other commercial activities. While the program made the popular parklet outdoor dining spaces permanent, businesses were critical of the cost. 

Final certified election data from the primary election showed Santa Monica voters opted for progressive candidates in races like LA County Third District Supervisor and Sheriff, falling to the left of primary election voting trends countywide. While Santa Monica voters generally swung left of center in the primary election, Venice’s votes represented a broader spectrum of political ideology

The Broad Stage embarked on its 15th season of performing arts, including a large rebranding, three world premieres and a new summer series.

Parent concern over plans to relocate students from SMASH / John Muir escalated. While the SMASH school community was planned to move en masse, John Muir students were scheduled to dissipate  — while about 150 pupils head to Will Rogers Elementary, some 60 other students will go to Franklin, Roosevelt, Grant or McKinley elementary schools.

Officials stepped up enforcement of rules that prohibit dogs on beaches after an increase in visitors bringing pets onto the sand. Dogs, even leashed, are not allowed on the sand on any Santa Monica beaches and owners can face fines for repeated violations.

Following the departure of 25 year CEO Kathleen Rawson, Downtown Santa Monica Inc. selected Andrew Thomas as her replacement. He served as its Director of Operations from 2001 to 2010 during the heyday of the Promenade’.

Santa Monica resident Luca Vuillermet achieved success in the new sport of wingfoil, a combination of kite surfing and hydrofoiling.

County Supervisors drafted a ballot measure asking local voters for permission to remove a sheriff they believe is violating laws, neglecting duties, misappropriating public funds, falsifying documents or obstructing official investigations. The move was prompted by the ongoing feud with Sheriff Villanueva. The measure won in November and Villanueva lost his reelection bid. 

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Starbucks closed a store on Ocean Front Walk citing an inability to provide a safe environment for staff and customers. The store had been open for about two years following a remodel of the site and in an announcement, Starbucks said it would close 16 stores throughout the country for safety concerns as the company reimagines the future of the business. Critics said the closures were suspicious as they coincided with national efforts to unionize workers. 

Major League Baseball’s All Star Game brought family-friendly events to the Pier and Santa Monica Beach. While the game was played at Dodger Stadium, the Pier hosted events including youth baseball and softball, yoga, sand sculptures and a retail zone.

Garret Shaw and his mother continued their work advocating for NAMI at local farmers markets. Shaw was hospitalized with mental illness 26 times before he was able to secure help that enabled him to build a career as a support group counselor. 

After two years of zero bail for most misdemeanors and some felonies, the regular bail schedule returned at a time when officials said the lack of consequence for minor crimes had made it difficult to deter some behaviors. 

Congressman Ted Lieu secured $7.5 million to fight homelessness locally, including nearly $4 million earmarked for programs in Santa Monica and Venice. 

Protest activity returned to Santa Monica with pro-choice, anti-abortion and animal cruelty activities all occurring on the same weekend. The local branch of Planned Parenthood briefly became a focal point as the national debate over abortion access increased. 

The United States’ first nationwide three-digit mental health crisis hotline went live. The 9-8-8 number designed to be as easy to remember and use as 911, but instead of a dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors.

Residents of a Venice Senior Housing Center asked the City of LA to provide more attention to the people living in encampments around their building due to declining quality of life issues. 

Council heaped praise Frank Gehry’s Ocean Avenue Project while approving the mixed-use LEED Platinum certified development designed by the renowned local architect. The development includes a hotel, commercial space, residential units including rent controlled and affordable housing, and a museum, plus a public rooftop deck, interlaced by pedestrian “paseos” that are also open to the public. 

Public health experts began a mission to spread information about a new disease outbreak that cropped up in cities around the world: Monkeypox. The disease occupied headlines for much of the summer but the overall risk to most people was low and news about cases gradually declined as vaccines became widely available and other viruses began spiking. 

The Santa Monica Fire Department welcomed eight new firefighters to the department. The Class of 2022-2 includes Nathan Bozin, Reynoldo Corrujedu Jr., Marco Franco, Jonathan Hampton, Steven Hollimon, Blane Martinez, Omar Torres and Juan Ventura.

On the first day of election season, 20 Santa Monicans pulled papers from the City Clerk’s office to run for office. 

A power outage knocked out electricity for a huge swath of Santa Monicans and it took Southern California Edison almost four hours to resolve the problem.

A raft of new restaurants opened including Brothers Sushi, LouLou and Mochidoki. Hermanito announced it would come to town. 

The debate around capping increases for rent control units exploded when a proposed ballot measure drafted by the Rent Control Board came to Council. Councilmembers tore apart the proposal stating they wanted to find a way to cap future rent increases at 3 percent, regardless of inflation. Council went on to draft a revised rent control measure that expanded the RCB’s powers to suspend increases in an emergency and rolled back the historic increase from this year. 

The SAM Initiative completed its 2021-2022 annual giving cycle by donating a total of $350,000 in grants to seven local non-profit organizations. The Initiative is a group of volunteers who use private philanthropy to fund a rotating group of organizations that support their three primary areas of focus for that year which include supporting work in educational equity, at-risk youth, and mental health, with an expanded focus on social enterprises for 2022.

A landlord had to pay the City $65,000 to settle accusations of tenant harassment and illegal eviction in a rent-controlled apartment. The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office Public Rights Division announced a stipulated judgment and injunction against defendants Ross Vaisburd, Empresa Real Alta California LLC, 848 18th Street LLC, Rolana Serebryanaya, and Rolana Serebryanaya’s Trust requiring payment of $65,000 to the City for tenants’ restitution and costs, two years of required property management training, reporting all evictions and lawsuits in Santa Monica to the City Attorney’s office for the next year and providing City-approved disclosures meeting state law requirements to all tenants in Santa Monica properties.

Councilwoman Kristin McCowan said she would not run for reelection. McCowan said the position was taking a toll on her family and her decision left only Lana Negrete as an incumbent in the Council race. 

The Santa Monica Music Center celebrated its 50th anniversary. The business fulfilled the dreams of Chico Fernandez who wanted to open a practice space and photography studio for local musicians to jam, record, take lessons, shoot album covers and share music with the community. The business became a family affair with his daughter, Councilwoman Lana Negrete eventually taking over. 

Gov. Newsom signed a controversial, first-in-the-nation gun control measure patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law, saying the state would use an opportunity created by anti-abortion rulings to target assault weapons. He signed the legislation during a ceremony held at Santa Monica College, the site of a 2013 school shooting. 

Council reauthorized a ban on select items during protests after a recent spate of activity downtown including individuals with knives, sticks and tactical gear. The emergency ordinance was the second time Council has passed the rules following the looting and riots of 2020. 

While the status of a California Voting Rights Act case awaited judgment before the California Supreme Court, Councilmember Oscar de la Torre, who has close ties to advocates of by-district elections, was granted the right to weigh in on how Santa Monica handles the case after reaching a settlement in a lawsuit de la Torre filed against the City back in 2021, after he was blocked from participating in CVRA discussions. In addition to permitting de la Torre to once again take part in discussions and decisions regarding the case, as part of the settlement, the City agreed to pay $92,500 worth of attorney’s fees to de la Torre’s legal counsel, Will Trivino-Perez.

Democratic California State Senator Ben Allen’s name was the only option for voters in CA-24 on the June primary ballot but with more than 6,000 district residents writing in a Republican challenger, self-proclaimed “mama bear candidate,” Realtor and Samohi alumna Kristina Irwin, qualified for the November run-off. 

City Hall began deliberations over an all electric future with a series of proposed code revisions that would eliminate natural gas from homes and encourage adoption of electric vehicles.

The Santa Monica Police Department investigated an attempted theft of an ATM from a local bank. Officers received a report of an attempted theft when a caller said a pickup truck was trying to take an ATM out of the Chase Bank at 2701 Wilshire Blvd. When officers arrived they found a black Ford pickup truck still running with the doors open. A chain attached to the rear tow hitch had pulled the bank ATM off a center island median and it was left lying face down in the middle of the parking lot. A computer check revealed the truck had been stolen from Santa Monica the day before.

SMMUSD approved new rates for teacher contracts going into the 2022-23 school year, with teachers earning 10% wage increases.

Council approved a ballot measure establishing a business tax on commercial cannabis retailers, even though such businesses are not allowed in the city. Staff said they estimated a business license tax on such retailers could bring in up to $1 million per year to the City, once enacted.

Local historian Richard Orton began working on a project to memorialize the now lost Pacific Ocean Park (POP). The pier once occupied 87 acres of land, offering rides, games and midcentury-era thrills of all kinds. The once-fabulous sprawling amusement park operated for only about a decade from 1958- 67 before falling into disrepair and being demolished. 

The newest bridge in Los Angeles, a $588-million architectural marvel with views of the downtown skyline, opened to great fanfare but was repeatedly closed amid chaos and collisions. The 6th Street Viaduct — which soars over the concrete-lined Los Angeles River to connect downtown to the historic Eastside — quickly became a hotspot for street racing, graffiti and illegal takeovers that draw hundreds of spectators to watch drivers perform dangerous stunts in their vehicles.

The Rent Control Board election was left without any incumbents after two resigned prior to the election and the third reached the maximum term limit. Three individuals would file for the open seats creating an uncontested election. 

Teens from the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu helped toddlers with cerebral disorders affecting body mobility through a unique STEM program and partnership with X-Bots Robotics Inc.