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Friday, August 17, 2018

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Downtown Santa Monica Officials Share Successes, Challenges
August 17, 2018 -- Despite an increase in homelessness and competition from online shopping, Downtown Santa Monica continues to drive the beach city's economy, generating more than $1.1 billion in taxable sales last year.

Ex-Convict Sentenced to Life in Santa Monica Officer's Shooting
August 17, 2018 -- An ex-convict who seriously wounded a Santa Monica police officer during a traffic stop in 2010 was sentenced Thursday to 125 years to life in prison.

New State Housing Laws will Have Little Impact on Santa Monica, City Planning Director Says
August 16, 2018 -- The California Legislature had a busy year in 2017 addressing the state's housing crunch, but few of the bills signed into law will have an impact on Santa Monica, according to the City's top planning official.

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Santa Monica Expands Plastic Ban
August 15, 2018 -- Santa Monica took another step towards achieving zero waste by 2030 when the Council expanded a local ban on single-use plastics Tuesday night.

Two Major Scooter Companies Rally Supporters After Snub From Santa Monica City Officials
August 14, 2018 -- There is no item on Tuesday night's City Council agenda that addresses the issue of electric scooters. But that didn't stop two of the largest companies competing for a coveted contract to operate a pilot program in Santa Monica from descending on City Hall.

Vazquez Council Seat to Likely Open After November Election
August 14, 2018 -- A fourth seat on the Santa Monica City Council will likely become vacant when the votes are counted in the race for three open seats November 6.

Study Surfaces That Could Aid Plaintiffs in Voting Rights Case Against City

August 13, 2018 -- Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a voting rights lawsuit against the City are trying to obtain a report they contend shows a pattern of polarized voting in Santa Monica. The report commissioned by the City surfaced during a deposition Thursday with Councilmember Tony Vazquez.

Third Slow Growth Activist Drops Potential Council Bid
August 13, 2018 -- Nine candidates for Santa Monca City Council filed nominating papers by Friday's deadline, with three leaders of the slow-growth movement choosing not to file.

Santa Monica Election System on Trial
A voting rights lawsuit that began last week could shake up Santa Monica's power structure and radically change the way council members are elected. Below are detailed accounts of the opening arguments for both sides.

Plaintiffs in Santa Monica Voting Rights Lawsuit Paint Picture of Disenfranchised Minority

Latinos More than Fairly Represented on Santa Monica Council, Defense Argues in Voting Rights Case

Study Surfaces That Could Aid Plaintiffs in Voting Rights Case Against City

Two Santa Monica Ballot Initiatives Draw No Opposing Arguments
August 10, 2018 -- You wouldn't know Santa Monica was embroiled in a development war from the reaction to a ballot initiative that addresses the height of new buildings. The measure will appear on the ballot with no opposing argument.

Councilmembers Seek Changes to Strengthen Santa Monica's Tenant Protections
August 9, 2018 -- Worried that long-time rent control tenants will be increasingly displaced in Santa Monica's heated real estate market, two Councilmembers are recommending that staff revisit local renter protections.

O'Connor Submits Nominating Papers for Santa Monica Council
August 9, 2018 -- Councilmember Pam O'Connor submitted her nominating petitions Thursday afternoon, becoming the final incumbent to do so in the race for three open seats.

Another Iconic Santa Monica Venue to Shutter Its Doors
August 8, 2018 -- When Santa Monica rings in the new year it will bid farewell to yet another local establishment that put a stamp on Southern California's cultural scene. After 46 years on Pico Boulevard, Valentino will close its doors.

Ballot Arguments Underscore Key Differences Over Term Limits For Santa Monica Council
August 8, 2018 -- Term limits would either bring new perspectives to a City Council whose members often serve "virtually lifelong" terms or pave the way for "novice" elected officials beholden to the City bureaucracy.

Two Slow-Growth Challengers No Longer Council Hopefuls
August 7, 2018 -- Two slow-growth council hopefuls who had been intent on mounting a stiff challenge against Santa Monica incumbents have decided not to enter the race for three open seats.

SMC Promise Program icon Santa Monica College Unveils “Promise Program” to Encourage Full-Time Enrollment
August 7, 2018 -- It will become easier for financially strapped students from Los Angeles area high schools to enroll full-time at Santa Monica College this year thanks to a new program..

Minimum Wage Law Has Had No Major Impact on Santa Monica Economy, Report Finds
August 2, 2018 -- Two years after being implemented, Santa Monica's minimum wage law has apparently had no "substantive impact" on the local economy, although some consumers may have been feeling the pinch, according to an update by City staff.

Santa Monica Voters Faced with Four Measures on November Ballot
August 1, 2018 -- Santa Monica voters will decide the fate of four ballot measures November 6 -- ranging from changes in requirements to serve on boards and commissions to a record bond for the School District.

Penguin Coffee Shop in Santa Monica Journey to Help Make Route 66 a National Trail Ends in Santa Monica This Week
August 1, 2018 -- A nearly 2,500-mile journey to help make Route 66 a National Historic Trail will end Friday at a drive-in diner in Santa Monica blocks from the end of America's most storied highway.

Black Actor's Account of Encounter with Santa Monica Police Rekindles Racial Profiling Debate
July 31, 2018 -- The issue of racial profiling by both Santa Monica residents and local law enforcement officers resurfaced this weekend when a black actor recounted a 2016 encounter with police at his Santa Monica home.

Santa Monica Purchases Its First Electric Bus
July 31, 2018 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus took the first concrete step towards an emission-free future when the City Council last week authorized the purchase of its first electric bus.

EXTRA SMRR Endorses McKeown, Himmelrich, Morena for City Council
July 30, 2018 -- Two City Council incumbents and a new challenger won the endorsement of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) on Sunday paving the way for what promises to be a hotly contested race in November.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Votes to Place Record Bonds on the Ballot
July 30, 2018 -- The School Board on Thursday placed bonds on the November ballots in Santa Monica and Malibu that together amount to $680 million, the largest ever placed before local voters.

Santa Monica Council Grudgingly Places Term Limits Measure on Ballot
July 30, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted grudgingly last week to place a measure on the November ballot that would limit Council members to three terms.

Only Four Council Candidates to Seek Santa Monica's Most Coveted Endorsement
July 27, 2018 -- Four City Council candidates will be seeking the endorsement of Santa Monicans' for Renters' Rights (SMRR) on Sunday, likely making it the smallest pool of hopefuls in the group's 40-year history.

Santa Monica Council Adopts "Compensation Philosophy" to Help Address Rising Employee Costs
July 27, 2018 -- The City Council on Tuesday put in place the first of 13 recommendations from an outside study of public employee costs when it adopted a "Compensation Philosophy."

Speculation Likely Driving Ellis Evictions in Santa Monica, Study Finds
July 26, 2017 -- Recent buyers and not longtime owners of Santa Monica rent control buildings are more likely to use the Ellis Act to get out of the rental business, according to a recent eviction study.

OPINION: City of Santa Monica’s Election System Intentionally Dilutes Minority Vote
July 26, 2018 -- Voting rights plaintiff Maria L. Loya asks: How is it possible that “progressives” would vote to spend millions in public funds to fight a voting rights act challenge by people of color who have suffered from a rigged election system?

Scaled-Down Santa Monica Pier Concert Series Announces Fall Lineup
July 27, 2018 -- Santa Monica's "reimagined" concert series on the Pier kicks off with a hot Latin beat not amid the sweltering heat of summer but in September. The new schedule is part an effort by the City to scale down the wildly popular series as it enters its 34th year.

EXTRA Santa Monica Police to Crack Down on Electric Scooters on Beach Bike Path
July 26, 2018 -- Santa Monica police this week will begin cracking down on electric scooters on the beach bike path by enforcing a law banning electric vehicles there.

Santa Monica Slow Growth Activists Forging Council Slate to Challenge Incumbents
July 25, 2018 -- The battle lines are being drawn in Santa Monica's November race for three City Council seats with the forging of a slow-growth slate intent on unseating the incumbents.

Santa Monica Councilmember Tony Vazquez Can Vazquez Keep Seat if Elected to State Office? The Answer is Not So Simple
July 24, 2018 -- Speculation has been growing that Santa Monica City Councilmember Tony Vazquez could remain on the dais if he wins the race for a seat on a powerful State tax board in November.

Police Continue Scooter Education Campaign Wednesday Amid Growing Call for Enforcement
July 24, 2018 -- Santa Monica police will continue its highly publicized education and enforcement of traffic laws for electric scooter users as part of a campaign that has so far won mixed reviews.

Santa Monica's 'Jazz on the Lawn' Concert Series Returns Next Month
July 24, 2018 -- Santa Monica's popular Jazz on the Lawn concert series kicks off its 13th season in Santa Monica next month with a performance by vibraphonist, marimbist and composer Nick Mancini and his group.


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