The LookOut

Santa Monica Gives to the Needy During Holiday Season
December 23, 2011 -- This holiday season has been especially difficult for the needy, but Santa Monicans are stepping up to help, according to the largest local social service agencies.

Santa Monica Civic Leaders Voice Hopes for the New Year
December 23, 2011 -- The New Year looms as a large one with a domestic presidential election, a rash of newborn democracies in the Middle East, and an Occupy movement that has moved from the town square to foreclosed homes.

Santa Monica Rosie's Girls Wins Award
December 23, 2011 -- Rosie's Girls Santa Monica (RGSM) has been awarded the League of California Cities' 2011 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence for engaging its youth in city government.

Santa Monica Has Plenty of Holiday Offerings
December 22, 2011 -- From blues at a funky bar to a sit down dinner at a 5-star hotel, Santa Monica residents have plenty to choose from to usher in the New Year.

Santa Monica Names New Community and Cultural Director
December 22, 2011 -- Karen Ginsberg, who has been second in command of Santa Monica's Community & Cultural Services -- one of the City's largest and most visible departments -- will assume the top post, City officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Flight Schools Agree to Restrictions
December 22, 2011 -- Flight schools have agreed not to use Santa Monica Airport for repeated takeoffs and landings while pattern flying during the night after neighbors complained of noise, airport officials announced Thursday.

Santa Monica Bans Smoking in New Hotels
December 21, 2011 -- Smokers visiting Santa Monica will have to take their habit to the street when staying in new hotels, but the verdict is still out on smoking in apartments and condos.

What Are Santa Monica's Most Dangerous Intersections? A New Interactive Map Provides the Answer
December 21, 2011 -- Though Santa Monica is a relatively safe city to live when it comes to crime, walking and cycling its streets may not be all that safe, according to an analysis by a local bike activist.

Santa Monica Exhibit Re-focuses on the Past
December 21, 2011 -- Three decades after Los Angeles mounted its first cross-cultural photography exhibition, Santa Monica is updating the show.

Santa Monicans Weigh In On Nativity Controversy
December 20, 2011 -- Santa Monica's Palisades Park has become ground zero for one of the hottest controversies in the Los Angeles region after several atheist groups nudged out traditional nativity scenes with their own displays.

Planning Commission Disappointed with Hotel Plans for Downtown Santa Monica
December 20, 2011 -- The Santa Monica Planning Commission last week voted to give the City Council a laundry list of issues they have with two new hotels proposed for Downtown Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Seeks Volunteers for Homeless Count
December 20, 2011 -- How many homeless persons live in Santa Monica? Who are they and where do they live?

Santa Monica Council Members Struggle with Nativity Scene Controversy
December 19, 2011 -- The nativity scenes at Palisades Park that have been a Christmas tradition for six decades may become a thing of the past after atheists nudged out most of the display this year.

Santa Monica College Building Wins Design Award
December 19, 2011 -- The design for Santa Monica College's Performing Arts Campus East Wing facility has won an award from the Southern California Development Forum (SCDF) for design excellence in the “Un-built Concepts” category.

What I Say -- Real Fears, False Hopes
December 19, 2011 -- While over the past couple of weeks the turf war in Palisades Park over Nativity scenes has been attracting regional and national attention, much of the attention of Santa Monica government has been focused on nearly four acres of land on the other side of town. That is where residents of the Village Trailer Park have been trying to keep hold of the turf under their trailers.

Santa Monica Residents and Businesses Help PAL Wrap Up Gala Gift Drive
December 16, 2011 -- Santa Monica residents and businesses donated enough presents during the holidays to make sure every child in the city can participate in the spirit of the season.

Santa Monica Council Transfers RDA Funds to City Coffers
December 16, 2011 -- The Santa Monica City Council approved moving more than one quarter billion dollars from the Redevelopment Agency to the city's General Fund Tuesday.

Montana Branch Temporarily Closes for Improvements
December 16, 2011 -- The Montana Avenue Branch Library, which has been serving the city's upscale neighborhood for more than 50 years, will be closed Monday, January 16 through Friday, February 24, for interior improvements.

Santa Monica Authorizes Funding for Metro Station Improvements
December 15, 2011 -- In a clear sign the train is fast approaching, the Santa Monica City Council gave a green light Tuesday to spend as much as $9.5 million on engineering services and betterment projects to prepare for the coming of the Expo Light Rail line.

Council Approves Urban Forest Plan, Stiffer Fines for Cabbies
December 15, 2011 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday night passed an Urban Forest Master Plan staff believes will set a national standard for urban forestry, as well as a measure that would mean harsher penalties for cab drivers.

Santa Monica Disabilities Awareness Month Poster Contest Winners Named
December 15, 2011 -- The Santa Monica Disabilities Commission this month announced the winners of the "Let's Play! Disabilities Awareness Month Youth Poster Contest" that will help publicize the city's first universally accessible playground.

Santa Monica City Council Approves Development with No Parking
December 14, 2011 -- Under a unique Development Agreement, the Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to require the developer of a Downtown housing project that provides no on-site parking to pay $125,000 for transit improvements

Santa Monica Campaign Ordinance Almost Fails Second Reading
December 14, 2011 -- It's rare that the second reading of an ordinance fails, but that nearly happened Tuesday night with a law that would

Carousel, Circus and Claus at Santa Monica Pier's Holiday Open House
December 14, 2011 -- Santa will arrive at the pier Saturday, but instead of reindeers and a sleigh, the man in red will be escorted to

Downtown Santa Monica Bike Center Off to a Good Start
December 13, 2011 -- After three weeks of operation, Downtown Santa Monica's new bike center has 25 members and is growing.

Santa Monica Council to Consider Urban Forest Master Plan
December 13, 211 -- The proposed Urban Forest Master Plan the Santa Monica City Council will take up

Santa Monica's Emeritus College Issues Memoir Collection
December 13, 2011 -- Memoirs have become a hot new genre, and who better than the elderly to share their memories in print.

“Quality Street” Gets New Score at Santa Monica Beach House
December 12, 2011 -- As part of its Beach=Culture program, the Annenberg Beach House will screen one of the more sparkling silent films made by its former resident, Marion Davies, on Monday night,

Santa Monica Cab Drivers Could Face Stiffer Fines
December 12, 2011 -- Cab drivers violating the City's taxi franchise law would face stiffer penalties under a measure scheduled to be taken up by the City Council Tuesday.

What I Say -- Akedism
December 12, 2011 -- I read a good book over Thanksgiving. We were staying at my mother-in-law’s in Pittsburgh, and she had a copy of the new book by Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt called

Santa Monica Nativity Display Nudged Out by Atheists
December 9, 2011 -- For the first time in 57 years, there may be no “The Christmas Story” gracing Santa Monica's Palisades Park with a quaint two-block long, life-size display of 14 nativity scenes this holiday season.

American Film Market to Stay in Santa Monica
December 9, 2011 -- Santa Monica will remain home to the American Film Market (AFM) for at least another five years, bringing in an anticipated $100 million in direct spending to the beachside city.

Santa Monica College Board Gets New Chair, Vice Chair
December 9, 2011 -- For the second time, Dr. Margaret R. Quiñones-Perez was elected chair and

Santa Monica’s Main Street Merchants Get Creative to Boost Holiday Sales
December 8, 2011 – Merchants along Main Street in Santa Monica are getting creative this holiday season in an effort to compete with retail chains offering big discounts.

Santa Monica Shooting Victim Not a Gang Member, Center Official Says
December 8, 2011 -- The 16-year old victim who was shot multiple times in the chest Tuesday was a regular at the Pico Youth and Family Center

Police Arrest Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping
December 8, 2011 – Police arrested a suspect Tuesday in the attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl in Santa Monica last week.

Santa Monica Officials Will Ask About Price of Trailer Park
December 8, 2011 -- The City will not look into exercising its right to eminent domain to prevent the closure of one of two remaining

Santa Monica High School Student Wounded in After-school Shooting
December 7, 2011 -- Police are looking for two suspects in the shooting of a Santa Monica High School student that took place after school Tuesday near the campus, police said.

Opinion--We Can No Longer Let Fear Lead Us
December 7, 2011 --The following speech was delivered by Santa Monica - Malibu School Board member Nimish Patel at a special meeting November 29, where the board voted unanimously to move forward on a district gift policy.

Santa Monica's Ocean Park Boulevard Goes Green
December 7, 2011 -- Santa Monica'a Ocean Park Boulevard is getting a green makeover that will include everything from new trees and irrigation systems to new traffic striping and crosswalk signals.

Planning Commission Could Have No Architects
December 6, 2011 -- Santa Monica's Planning Commission could be without any architects for the first time in at least a quarter century after the City Council fills one remaining vacancy Tuesday night.

Santa Monica Police Search for Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping
December 6, 2011 -- Police are searching for a suspect in the attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl Sunday morning in Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood.

Philosopher Counselor Share Santa Monica College's Top Faculty Honor
December 6, 2011 -- A philosopher with a green bent and a counselor who is considered a statewide guru on transforming universities have been named Santa Monica College's 2011 Co-Faculty of the Year.

Santa Monica City Council Tries to Save Trailer Park
December 5, 2011 -- The City Council Tuesday night will take up a "last ditch effort" to save one of Santa Monica's two remaining mobile home parks, but the council member behind the effort concedes the prospect seems unlikely.

Santa Monica Promenade Revs up For Electric Vehicles
December 5, 2011 -- The Santa Monica City Council Tuesday night is expected to pave the way for electric vehicles to be displayed on the busy Third Street Promenade Downtown.

What I Say -- Hitched
December 5, 2011 --The Santa Monica Malibu School Board did what it had to do last week when it voted to centralize and equalize fund raising and expenditures for extra personnel and other educational programming in the district.

Iconic Santa Monica Mural Succumbs to Age, Vandalism
December 2, 2011 -- Following years of controversy, a popular mural that has graced a wall at the corner of Ocean Park Boulevard and Main Street in Santa Monica has been whitewashed by the building's new owners.

Santa Monica Talent Agent Arrested on Suspicion of Molesting Child
December 2, 2011 -- A Santa Monica talent manager was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of molesting one of his under-aged clients, and police believe there could be other victims.

Santa Monica Library Exhibits Norton Christmas Projects
December 2, 2011 -- In 1988, retired computer entrepreneur Peter Norton and his wife, Eileen Harris, began commissioning world-renown artists to design multiple edition Christmas projects they mailed as holiday greetings to friends and colleagues.

Santa Monica - Malibu School Board Approves Controversial Gift Policy
December 1, 2011 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board voted unanimously to move forward with their controversial district-wide fundraising policy at a tense meeting Tuesday night.

Santa Monica Upgrades Homeless Services Tracking System
December 1, 2011 -- Santa Monica will boost its current computerized system that tracks the homeless clients who receive help from the city's extensive network of service providers.

Santa Monica Urges Residents to Give the Gift of Preparedness
December 1, 2011 -- It may seem no more exciting than finding that the present under the tree you were dying to unwrap had only underwear and socks.

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