archiveThe LookOutline
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California-- August 2012

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Marks Labor Day with Colorful Display
August 31, 2012 -- The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel will mark the official end of summer with a colorful display of vibrant orange, red and yellow patterns on Labor Day at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

Letter -- We Are Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth
August 31, 2012 -- We are a group of residents seeking to discuss growth and development issues with all the City Council candidates, and to help elect those candidates who will manage our City’s growth in a way that puts residents’ priorities, and the best interests of the City, ahead of developers’ interests.

Santa Monica's “Chain Reaction” Poses No Threat, Says Local Attorney

August 31, 2012 -- A prominent local land use attorney is contesting the City's recommendation that the “Chain Reaction” sculpture designed by the late political cartoonist Paul Conrad should be removed.

Olympic High Students Get Supplies Thanks to Santa Monica Developer NMS
August 31, 2012 -- Marcia Gecht, a longtime teacher at Olympic High School in Santa Monica, is often faced with a difficult choice. Does she use the meager funds at the cash-strapped school to buy the students notebooks and pens, or does she buy them food?

Santa Monica's Boys & Girls Club Opens New Site at Olympic High
August 31, 2012 -- The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica opened a new branch at Olympic High School Thursday to much fanfare.

Good Taste -- Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar, My Favorite For Girls Night Out
August 31, 2012 -- This week, I had my regular girls' night out cocktail hour (or two) with my BFFs at the Fairmont Miramar. It’s become my favorite place to congregate for these occasions.

Santa Monica City Council Concerned New Traffic Mitigation Fees Could Hurt Small Businesses

August 30, 2012 -- Though generally receptive to a staff proposal for a Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) for developments, the Santa Monica City Council remained concerned about unintended consequences.

Santa Monica Council Supports Bond Measure for School District
August 30, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support a bond measure that would provide the school district with $385 million dollars for new construction and repairs.

Santa Monica Pier Replaces Act Stranded in New Orleans
August 30, 2012 -- Brooklyn funk band The Pimps of Joytime will step in for the Hot 8 Brass Brand, which is stranded in hurricane-battered New Orleans, at Thursday evening's free Twilight Dance series Concert at the Santa Monica Pier.

Letter -- Santa Monica Neighborhood Group Has One Board and It Adjourned
August 30, 2012 -- As you know from my previous communication with you, I did adjourn the August 20 Wilmont Board meeting after having been shouted down by the group trying to take us over. I did not fail to adjourn the meeting. The other group refused to clear the room after the meeting was adjourned.

Letter -- Clarifying Santa Monica Council Actions
August 30, 2012 -- Thank you for printing my letter (August 24, 2012) regarding the pledge signed by seven candidates not to cooperate with any new group that is "not transparent," exempting all groups they've worked with in the past. I stand by everything I said in that letter with one correction.

Santa Monica Celebrates Its Ties to John Cage
August 29, 2012 -- John Cage, the most influential American classical composer of the 20th century, has direct ties to Santa Monica. As a young adult, the LA native worked as a gardener and lectured housewives on music and painting in the beachside city.

Santa Monica's Wilmont Board Sidesteps Confrontation with Telephone Meeting
August 29, 2012 -- Santa Monica's embattled Wilmont board held a phone conference "meeting" Monday night, one week after leaving a session attended by members who claim to have been elected to the group's new board.

Santa Monica Council OKs $1 Million in Expenses
August 29, 2012 -- Santa Monica's City Council approved more than $1 million in expenses Tuesday night as part of the consent calendar.

New Fees for Developers Downtown Could Double Revenue for Santa Monica|

August 28, 2012 -- Santa Monica could double its revenue from developers who build Downtown but opt not to build parking.

Santa Monica College Chemistry Teacher Wins Award
August 28, 2012 -- A Santa Monica College chemistry professor will use the money she won from the SMC Foundation to buy equipment that will give students hands-on experience in the lab.

Santa Monica City Council to Consider New Transportation Fee for Developers
August 28, 2012 -- At its meeting Tuesday night, the Santa Monica City Council will explore whether to require developers to pay a Transportation Impact Fee to help fund improvements to roads and bike lanes.

Santa Monica to Look to Smaller Developments for Community Benefits
August 27, 2012 -- Developers interested in building mid-sized projects in Santa Monica may soon be presented with a menu of community benefits they would be required to meet.

Santa Monica Council Candidate Mounts Successful Challenge to Make Ballot
August 27, 2012 -- Good thing Armen Melkonians is a "detail-oriented guy" who won't take no for an answer, or he wouldn't be on the November 6 ballot for Santa Monica City Council.

Police Continue Search for Santa Monica Stabbing Suspect
August 27, 2012 --Police have released the image of the suspect who stabbed a teenager on August 13 in Downtown Santa Monica in the hopes the public can help to identify him.

Letter --Slashing Santa Monica Bus Route Will Cause Hardship
August 27, 2012 --With the Big Blue Bus #2 route now being discontinued south of Pico Boulevard along Fourth Street in the Ocean Park area, it is important for people to know just how much of a hardship it will now be for many of that area's bus riders, including a good number of senior citizens. ("Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Gears Up for School," August 21, 2012)

Planning Commission OKs Food Truck Events in Santa Monica
August 24, 2012 -- Santa Monica's Planning Commission voted 5 to 2 Wednesday night to recommend that the City Council allow as many as four off-street food truck events in the beachside city.

NMS Properties Helps Prepare Santa Monica Students for School
August 24, 2012 -- One hundred students at Olympic High School and the Off Campus Learning Center are getting much-needed supplies and a boost of encouragement from one of Santa Monica's biggest property owners.

Good Taste -- Old Fashioned Americana at Bread and Porridge in Santa Monica
August 24, 2012 -- One of the things I love to do if I have the time, is have a good solid breakfast before I start work.  Today is one of those days, and Bread and Porridge is the choice for my meal.

Letter -- Santa Monica Council Candidate's Letter Shows "Disingenuous Political Hypocrisy"
August 24, 2012 -- This letter is in response to the letter attacking Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth printed in the August 22, 2012 edition of the Lookout and signed by City Council Candidates Terry O'Day, Gleam Davis, Shari Davis, Frank Gruber, Jerry Rubin, Tony Vazquez, John Cyrus Smith.

Letter -- There is Only One Wilmont Board
August 24, 2012 -- Once again, you mischaracterize the relationship between the only Board of Directors of the Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition and the group of people trying to take over our organization in your description of the events of Monday, August 20.

Second Bird Infected with West Nile Virus Found in Santa Monica
August 23, 2012 -- Two dead birds infected with the West Nile Virus (WNV) have been found in Santa Monica during the past three months, although it is not clear whether they contracted the virus in the city, according to local officials.

Gruber Leads Santa Monica Council Fundraising Race
August 23, 2012 -- Challengers Frank Gruber and Shari Davis took an early fundraising lead in the race for City Council, each raising more than $10,000 during the first six months of the year.

Santa Monica Tourist Killed by DUI Driver

August 23, 2012 -- An Australian man crossing the street with his family in Downtown Santa Monica Tuesday evening was fatally struck by a motorist driving under influence.

Cuban Rebel to Take Santa Monica Pier
August 23, 2012 -- A self-proclaimed musical “rebel” who was born in Cuba will take the stage Thursday night during the free Twilight Dance Series concert on the Santa Monica Pier.

Letter -- Why Not Respond to Questionnaire and Downtown Santa Monica Rocks
August 23, 2012 -- Those candidates for City Council who have agreed not to respond to certain questionnaires are governed by what those groups support or oppose.

New Santa Monica Group Has Ties to Miramar Opposition
August 22, 2012 -- Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth (SMRG), a new anti-development Political Action Committee (PAC) that expects to be a player in the race for four City Council seats, has ties to Miramar's opponents, The Lookout has learned.

Letter -- Santa Monica Council Candidates Ask for Transparency from New "Responsible Growth" Group
August 22, 2012 -- As candidates for Santa Monica City Council, we believe that sharing views and priorities with the city's highly engaged electorate is the foundation of every campaign – whether it be door to door, through candidate questionnaires or at community forums.

Rival Santa Monica Neighborhood Boards Square Off
August 22, 2012 -- Rival boards for Santa Monica's Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition met in the same room at the Ken Edwards Center Monday night, sparking some tension that eventually ended with the old board leaving the meeting.

Fourteen Santa Monica Candidates Make Final Council Ballot
August 22, 2012 -- Santa Monica City Council incumbent Terry O'Day will head a list of 14 candidates who made the ballot for the November 6 race for four open council seats.

Santa Monica Residents Resist Closing of Historic Post Office
August 21, 2012 -- The United States Postal Service announced that it would close Santa Monica's historic Downtown post office two weeks after the public comment period ended, leading some to believe the closure was a forgone conclusion.

Santa Monica Planning Commission to Consider Food Truck Permits
August 21, 2012 -- Santa Monica's Planning Commission Wednesday will consider amending the Municipal Code to allow food trucks to park at off-street sites on three of the city's major arteries.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Gears Up for School
August 21, 2012 -- With summer ending and school about to start, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Will adjust the schedule for some of its major lines beginning Sunday and Monday.

Mysterious Group Demands Answers from Santa Monica Council Candidates
August 20, 2012 -- Candidates for the Santa Monica City Council received a questionnaire of over 30 questions Wednesday night from an anti-development group that no one knows anything about.

Michael's Santa Monica

A New Happy Hour Party Six Nights a Week at Michael's Restaurant in Santa Monica
Good Taste -- August 20, 2012
-- When I think of Michael's Restaurant -- that sleek, sexy establishment created  more than 20 years ago by that cute pioneer of California Cuisine, Michael McCarty -- the past flashes through my mind.

Santa Monica High School Gets New House Principal, District Gets New Assistant Superintendent
August 20, 2012 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School District got two new administrators after the Board of Education appointed Dr. Terry Deloria and Stephen Franklin to their posts earlier this month.

Downtown Santa Monica Mixes Humor and Big Numbers at Annual Meeting

August 17, 2012 -- At Downtown Santa Monica, Inc’s annual meeting Thursday, City Manager Rod Gould and DTSM CEO Kathleen Rawson laid out plenty of reasons why the city was named by Forbes Magazine this year as having one of “America’s Best Downtowns.”

A Dozen Candidates Make Santa Monica Council Ballot, Five Await Verdicts
August 17, 2012-- Seventeen candidates returned nominating petitions for Santa Monica City Council by Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. deadline, with Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon the last to file at 5:25 p.m.

Santa Monica Cold Case Detective Solves Two More Murders
August 17, 2012 -- Police arrested a 46 year-old homeless man Wednesday morning at Pan Pacific Park on Fairfax and Third Street for the murder of two homeless women in Santa Monica more than a decade ago.

Santa Monica Pico Library Breaks Ground
August 16, 2012 -- Santa Monica officials Wednesday afternoon finally broke ground on a public library in the city's poorest neighborhood 30 years after it was first proposed.

Rusty’s Surf Ranch Will Stay on the Santa Monica Pier
August 16, 2012 -- The City Council Tuesday night renewed the lease of Rusty’s Surf Ranch, a 20-year fixture of the Santa Monica Pier, for at least another 10 years.

World Music to Shake the Santa Monica Pier Thursday Night
August 16, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Pier will come to life Thursday night with music from as far away as Mali and as nearby as Portland, Oregon during the weekly free Twilight Dance Series concert.

Hulu Comes to Santa Monica
August 15, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s Colorado Center -- formerly the Yahoo Center -- will get a new multi-million dollar tenant as early as late August when Hulu moves into a nearly 100,000-square-foot office space.

Santa Monica City Council Renews Multi-Million Dollar Landscaping Contract, Buys Tractor
August 15, 2012 -- Santa Monica’s City Council Tuesday approved a seven-year, $12,117,791 contract with TruGreen Landcare for landscape maintenance services at parks, on street landscapes and at City facilities.

Santa Monica Police Seek Stabbing Suspect
August 15, 2012 -- Police are searching for a man who stabbed a teenager Monday evening in Downtown Santa Monica.

Santa Monica’s Village Park Project Could Include Trailers
-- The owner of Santa Monica’s Village Trailer Park will consider revising plans for a development on the four-acre property that would preserve some of the trailers currently on the site.

Santa Monica Red Cross to Hold Car Wash
-- The Santa Monica Red Cross will be holding a car wash Saturday August 18 to raise funds to help prepare residents for future emergencies.

Santa Monica Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Saturday
-- Santa Monica Police will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Saturday evening at an undisclosed location in the city.

Iconic Santa Monica Mural Replaced with Collaborative Effort

August 13, 2012 -- A new mural will grace the wall at Ocean Park Boulevard and Main Street in Santa Monica that once held a nostalgic street scene painted 35 years ago by noted muralist Jane Golden.

Good Taste: Santa Monica Rendezvous At Chez Jay
-- An aging, crusty, jaded reporter (his name has been left out to protect the innocent) met a slightly aging, jaded PR executive buddy (that would be me) for dinner the other night. Chez Jay provided the perfect backdrop for us to catch up. 

Plane Crashes on Way Back to Santa Monica Airport
August 13, 2012 -- A small plane crashed in West Los Angeles Friday evening as it was returning to Santa Monica Airport, killing the pilot, who was the only person aboard.

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Halting Redevelopment Projects
-- The City Council will consider a contingency plan Tuesday related to the dissolution of Santa Monica’s Redevelopment Agency (RDA) that includes, among other options, suspending construction on the Pico Branch Library.

Santa Monica Council Hopefuls Will Get Extension
-- City Council hopefuls will have an extra five days to pull papers and submit petitions if at least one incumbent fails to submit their nominating petitions by 5 p.m. Friday, which appears certain.

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Hosts PALpalooza
-- On Wednesday, more than 350 kids from over 100 California Police Activities League (PAL) chapters swarmed Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier for the 8th Annual PALpalooza.

Santa Monica Businesses Gear Up for New State Recycling Law

August 9, 2012 -- Several hundred large Santa Monica businesses and some of the city's multifamily buildings are gearing up to comply with a new state law that requires them to recycle their waste.

Santa Monica Gets Ready to Clean Out Its Closets
August 9, 2012 -- Santa Monica residents will have two opportunities to get rid of their old stuff without wasting it.

Cirque Musicians to PARADE Their Talents at Santa Monica Pier Concer
August 9, 2012 -- The musicians who provide the innovative sounds for Cirque du Soleil's award-winning shows will take center stage at Thursday evening's free Twilight Dance Series Concert at the Santa Monica Pier.

Barrier-Breaking Astronaut Interred at Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery
August 8. 2012 -- Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly into space, was interred at Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery Monday.

Santa Monica’s Fallen War Vets to Get Memorial
August 8, 2012 -- Santa Monica will honor its military dead with a memorial plaque after a summer–long project indentified 97 locals who died in America’s foreign wars over the past century.

Learn How to Get Published at Santa Monica Library Workshop
August 8, 2012 -- In his popular "Sneaky Uses" book series, best-selling author Cy Tymony puts everyday objects to unusual uses. But there was nothing sneaky or unusual about his formula for success.

Three Malibu Candidates Form School Board Slate
August 7, 2012 -- Three Malibu-based education activists have joined the race for three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District as a “reform slate” that backs the secession of their city from the District.

Two Council Candidates Make Ballot, Political Consultant Joins School Board Race
August 7, 2012 -- Two City Council candidates have qualified for the ballot and three School Board hopefuls from Malibu, including a well-known local political consultant, jumped into the race last week as the Friday deadline approaches to submit signed petitions to the City Clerk.

Pico Library in Santa Monica Set to Break Ground
August 7, 2012 -- Santa Monica City Officials will get the ball rolling on the Pico Branch Library -- a project 29 years in the making -- on Wednesday August 15 in Virginia Avenue Park.

Historic Santa Monica Post Office in Jeopardy

August 6, 2012 -- The Santa Monica Landmarks Commission will explore designating as a landmark the 74-year-old Main Post Office building the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plans to shut down and possibly sell to pay its growing debt, The Lookout has learned.

Santa Monica Historical Musuem
Santa Monica College Hosts First Visiting Fulbright Scholar
August 6, 2012 -- Santa Monica College has lured a widely sought-after Italian language professor known for his innovative teaching methods as its first visiting Fulbright Scholar.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Gets Two New Administrators
August 6, 2012 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board appointed two new administrators -- including a new principal at Malibu High School -- at its meeting last Wednesday.

Another Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Joins Council Race

August 3, 2012 -- Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon -- a bicycle advocate known to push developers for more community benefits -- pulled papers Tuesday in the race for four open seats on the City Council.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Puts Bond Measure on November Ballot
August 3, 2012 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board voted 6 to 1 Wednesday to place a $385 million bond measure on the November ballot that would help pay for district construction costs.

Good Taste: Wokano in Santa Monica -- First Sushi Experience is "Figo!"
August 3, 2012 -- This week, a lovely young lady from Italy came to Santa Monica for the month to intern with my firm.  Her name is Ilenia and she's smart, funny and a joy to have around.

Ironworkers Picket Arizona Labor on Santa Monica's New Apple Store

August 2, 2012 -- A week after the nearly $60 million sale of the building that is to house the new Apple Store on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, the local Ironworkers union picketed the sudden decision to switch to out-of-state labor.

Santa Monica Pier Invaded from Down Under
August 2, 2012 -- It's music from Down Under when Aussie singer-songwriters Kasey Chambers and Matt Ellis take the stage Thursday night at the Santa Monica Pier for a free Twilight Dance Series concert.

Santa Monica's Pacific Park Marks 5,500th Birthday
August 2, 2012 -- Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier is only 16 years old, but already it's celebrated more than 5,500 birthdays.  

Santa Monica Police to Monitor U-Turns in August
August 2, 2012 -- In August, Santa Monica Police will be cracking down on illegal U-Turns throughout the City and especially in business districts.

Special Report --
Powerful Santa Monica Group Skirts Transparency through Legal Status
August 1, 2012 -- -- With five of the seven sitting City Council members and a council majority since 1988, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) is easily the most powerful political force in the seaside city.

Santa Monica Youth Champion Frank Schwengel Dies
August 1, 2012 -- Frank Schwengel, a tireless volunteer for Santa Monica's youth for more than three decades who was known as a "quiet hero" for his humbleness, died Tuesday morning. Memorial arrangements have not been released.

Santa Monica Hires New City Clerk
August 1, 2012 -- Santa Monica has hired Santa Clarita City Clerk Sarah Gorman to fill the vacancy left after Maria Stewart resigned earlier this year from the post she held for two decades.

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