archiveSanta Monica Lookoutline
The Santa Monica Lookout, Santa Monica, California -- February 2014

Santa Monicans Divided About Height, Support Bergamot Arts District Development, Survey Shows
February 28, 2014 -- Santa Monicans are divided over the future of development in the bayside city, according to the results of a City-commissioned survey released Thursday.

Record Number of Santa Monica Businesses Receive Award for Sustainability
February 28, 2014 -- A record number of Santa Monica businesses have been nominated this year for Santa Monica's annual award ceremony recognizing environmentally-friendly practices.

Santa Monica's Olympic High School Gets Top Honor from State
February 28, 2014 -- Santa Monica's Olympic High School, which helps students struggling to graduate, received top honors from State officials Thursday.

Santa Monica’s Shotgun House Comes Home
February 27, 2014 -- Over the last 16 years, a century-old beachside cottage, known as Santa Monica’s “shotgun house,” has been nearly demolished twice, moved, abandoned and moved again.

Santa Monica Shoppers React to CVS Tobacco Ban
February 27, 2014 -- Shoppers at a Santa Monica CVS store Wednesday had mixed reactions to the news that the country's most profitable drug store chain will stop selling tobacco products by October.

Santa Monica’s State Assembly Representative Leads Fight for Drought Relief
February 27, 2014 -- Santa Monica's representative in the State Assembly is leading the fight for drought relief in California.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Makes Bid to Represent Santa Monica, Southbay in State Senate
February 26, 2014 -- After more than a decade in local politics, Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth wants to take her experience to Sacramento.

Santa Monica’s “Chain Reaction” Will Stay, Says City Council
February 26, 2014 -- Santa Monica’s “Chain Reaction” sculpture will stay standing after the City Council Tuesday voted to fully fund repairs to the 20-year-old artwork.

Santa Monica College Personnel Commission Replaces Long-Time Activist
February 26, 2014 -- Santa Monica College announced last week that attorney Lawrence Leone would replace former City Councilmember Dolores Press, a long-time tenant and union activist, on the College’s Personnel Commission.

Santa Monica Referendum Organizers to Hire Professional Signature Gatherers
This story has been updated
February 25, 2014 -- With exactly two weeks to go to collect the signatures required to put the recently-approved Bergamot Transit Village on the November ballot, opponents of the development will likely hire professional signature gatherers.

Downtown Santa Monica Sees Major Decline in Overnight Homeless Population, Annual Count Shows
February 25, 2014 -- Santa Monica’s annual homeless count showed dramatically fewer people sleeping on the streets of the bayside city’s Downtown district, officials reported Monday.

Santa Monica-based RAND Releases Report to Protect Coastal Communities
February 25, 2014 -- Should a coastal community undertake a marsh-building project now or in the future? And how will the project fare against different rates of rising sea levels over time?

Letter -- The Question Before Us
February 25, 2014 -- This weekend many of you saw petitioners asking for a referendum on our City Council decision regarding the former Papermate factory, now owned by Hines. Like many decisions affecting our future, it has generated a broad community discussion.

Shriver Opens Campaign Headquarters in Santa Monica for County Supervisor Bid
February 24, 2014 -- Bobby Shriver, candidate for L.A. County Supervisor and former Santa Monica mayor, opened the doors to his new campaign headquarters Saturday.

New Poll on the Future of Santa Monica Airport Alarms Activists
February 24, 2014 -- Recent phone calls to local households asking about the future of Santa Monica Airport has opponents of the century-old airfield worried.

Registration Opens for Santa Monica's First “People's Academy”
February 24, 2014 -- The bedrock of any democratic government is civic participation. Without a well informed, active citizenry, government cannot or will not do its job.

Referendum Drive about Bigger Change to Santa Monica Politics, Supporters Say
February 21, 2014 -- With about three weeks to go to collect the 6,100 signatures required to put the recently-approved Bergamot Transit Village on the November ballot, supporters of the referendum have stepped-up their efforts.

Water, Traffic Improvements Top Light List of Expenses for Santa Monica City Council
February 21, 2014 -- Improvements to Santa Monica’s traffic and water systems are the two most expensive items on a list of routine expenses the City Council will consider Tuesday.

Twin Brothers Sentenced in Santa Monica Stabbing
February 21, 2014 -- Identical twin brothers were sentenced this week in the stabbing of a Santa Monica man near the eastern edge of the city last summer.
Anthony and Conrad Sowash, 27, each pleaded guilty at the LAX Courthouse Monday to one count of assault with a deadly weapon. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds but survived.

Santa Monica May Raise Property Transfer Tax to Stave off Affordable Housing Drought
February 20, 2014 -- With all pending affordable housing projects expected to be complete by 2015 and scarce resources available to finance more, Santa Monica will consider raising its tax on real estate transfers.

Santa Monica Steps Up for the Homeless
February 20, 2014 -- Santa Monica will start a new project Friday designed to provide housing to homeless people as a first step towards getting their lives together.

Santa Monica Celebrates Women's History Month
February 20, 2014 -- The City of Santa Monica and the Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) will be celebrating women of character, courage and commitment during Women's History Month in March.

A Slow Start to Santa Monica’s Recent Referendum Effort
February 19, 2014 -- The headquarters for the powerful tenants’ group, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), was mostly empty Saturday morning save for a few scattered chairs and a make-shift work station where Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy sat hunkered over her computer.

Union Pickets Santa Monica Hotel over Alleged Labor Abuses
This article has been updated
February 19, 2014 -- Workers from the Doubletree Suites Hotel in Santa Monica picketed Tuesday, claiming that management denied them legally-mandated breaks.

Fire Causes Evacuation of Downtown Santa Monica Building
February 19, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) is investigating the origins of a fire that forced the evacuation of a mixed-use building Downtown early Monday.

Letter -- Clarifying the Ruling on the Future of Santa Monica Airport
February 19, 2014 -- Judge Walter made it quite clear that he was not ruling on the merits of the City’s claim to control the land after expiration of the 1984 Settlement Agreement.

Improved Santa Monica Budget Forecast Shows “Probable” $3 Million Shortfall
February 18, 2014 - - Santa Monica will no longer be in the red $9 million by 2017 thanks to increased tax revenue and lower-than-expected personnel costs, City officials told the City Council Tuesday.

Fight to Close Santa Monica Airport “Far from Over,” Local Activists Say
February 18, 2014 --  Activists against the Santa Monica Airport are undeterred after a federal judge Thursday said he would not hear a lawsuit by the City to wrest control of the century-old airfield from the FAA.

Santa Monica Launches Seismic Retrofit Program
February 18, 2014 -- In California, where earthquakes are a fact of life, preventing the damage they cause is a number one priority.

Letters -- City Council backs the PNA on the MANGo
February 18, 2014 -- The City Council listened carefully to public comments regarding the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway and voted unanimously to support the PNA's position which was "Yes on the MANGo - No on traffic diverters."  Thus the MANGo project passed Council WITHOUT the inclusion of traffic diverters and barricades.

Letters -- Ask Before You Sign – Or Think Before You Ink
February 18, 2014 -- Recently, supporters of a referendum on a development in Santa Monica have hit the streets to gather signatures to get their issue on the ballot.

Judge Tosses Santa Monica Lawsuit Against FAA
February 14, 2014 -- A federal judge Thursday dismissed Santa Monica’s lawsuit against the FAA that would have given City Hall control over the future of the bayside city’s airport.

Santa Monica Files Lawsuit Against National Gold Dealer
February 14, 2014 -- For the third time in three years, the City of Santa Monica is taking a national gold dealer to court for fraud.

SMRR, Neighborhood Groups Rally for Anti-Development Referendum
February 14, 2014 -- Some 250 people turned out Wednesday night to mark the official start to the effort to overturn Santa Monica City Council’s approval of a major mixed-use development in the city’s arts district.

Bikes, Peds Get Major Boost from Santa Monica City Council
February 13, 2014 -- The City Council approved two plans Tuesday that will make it easier to get around Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood on foot or on bike.

Parks and Rec Chair Announces Bid for Santa Monica City Council
February 13, 2014 -- The Chair of Santa Monica’s Parks and Recreation Commission became the second person to announce he would run for City Council Wednesday.

Big Blue Bus to Host Expo Community Workshop
This article has been updated
February 13, 2014
-- Big Blue Bus riders on Thursday will have a third chance to weigh in on how best to connect the bus system to the Expo Light Rail Line expected to reach Downtown Santa Monica by 2016.

Election Season Kicks Off in Santa Monica
February 12, 2014 -- Election season in Santa Monica got off to an early start Tuesday when political newcomer Ken Robin announced his bid for City Council.

Fund to Save Santa Monica’s “Chain Reaction” Sculpture Tops $100,000
February 12, 2014 -- Supporters of Santa Monica’s “Chain Reaction” sculpture announced Tuesday that they had raised more than $100,000 to help pay for repairs to the artwork.

Santa Monica Urges Residents to Buy Local During Jamzilla
February 12, 2014 -- From the transportation agencies that brought you "Carmaggedon" and "Carmaggedon II" comes "Jamzilla."

From School Board to State Senate, Santa Monica Native Hopes to Make the Leap
February 11, 2014 -- Life-long Santa Monica resident, Ben Allen, hopes to be the second person in the bayside city’s history to make the jump from the School Board to Sacramento.

Santa Monica May Join Efforts to Curb Ellis Act Evictions
February 11, 2014 -- Santa Monica could add its voice to those calling for State legislators to make it harder for property owners to evict rent-control tenants.

Cage, Messaen Piano Masterworks Get Major Play in Santa Monica
February 11, 2014 -- Santa Monica this month will host performances of two 20th century masterworks that showcase the piano’s capacity to induce ecstatic dance rhythms and reveries of the sublime.

Letters -- In response to the proposed Greenway Design
February 11, 2014 -- On Tuesday, the City Council will consider on initial plans for a 2.5 mile "Greenway" that would connect the Bergamot Area to the beach via Michigan Avenue. While many of the proposed designs, meant to accommodate more bicycle and foot traffic, have received warm receptions, there is still some disagreement. Below are several letters The Lookout has received ahead of the Council meeting about the proposed design.
Deborah Ford -- We all live in this town collectively. We all pay taxes for use of the  city streets. Please, please, Santa Monica, stop

Kathryn Kosmeya-Dodge -- Dear City Council Members, It is urgent that you support all efforts to lessen traffic on Michigan Ave. I personally am suffocating daily living on the corner of Michigan and Euclid.

Oscar de la Torre -- From reading the City staff report on the proposed changes to Michigan Avenue one might think that the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) is all about bicycles and bicyclists and not about upgrading and greening the Pico Neighborhood.

Cynthia Rose -- Santa Monica Spoke is excited to support the Conceptual Designs presented for the Samohi Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Project.

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Member Launches State Senate Bid with Major Support
This article has been updated.
February 10, 2014
-- Ben Allen, a member of the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board, announced Saturday that he would run for State Senate with the backing of two major Democratic leaders.

Slowing Traffic on Santa Monica’s Michigan Avenue Greenway Sparks Battle
February 10, 2014 -- With the City Council set to consider Tuesday preliminary plans to turn 2.5 miles of a neighborhood street into a bike and pedestrian-friendly corridor, a battle is brewing.

Santa Monica Police to Enforce Motorcycle Safety
February 10, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Police Department will step up efforts to prevent motorcycle accidents Saturday.

Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights Votes to Back Referendum Against Hines Development
February 8, 2014
-- Santa Monica's powerful tenant group voted Saturday to back the movement to put the Bergamot Transit Village project to the voters.

Santa Monica Resident Group Gears up for Referendum
February 7, 2014 -- On the heels of the City Council approval of the Bergamot Transit Village project, opponents of the development have begun an effort to take their fight to the ballot box.

Santa Monica Schools Superintendent Named Top in County
February 7, 2014 -- Sandra Lyon, who heads the Santa Monica-Malibu School District, was named the top superintendent in Los Angeles County, district officials announced Thursday.

Furniture, Office Equipment Top Santa Monica City Council Expenses
February 7, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council will consider $1.3 million in routine expenses at the top of its Tuesday meeting.

Snell Named to Santa Monica College Board
February 6, 2014 -- Former School Board member Barry Snell was appointed Tuesday to fill the seat on the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees vacated by Judge David Finkel last month.

Santa Monica Emeritus College Band to Perform Saturday
February 6, 2014 -- There aren’t many chances to catch a free performance at Santa Monica College’s award-winning Broad Stage, or to tap your toes with a tight, spry band with members who are in their 80s and even 90s.

Santa Monica's Former Mayors Sound Off on Bergamot Transit Village
February 6, 2014 -- While the City Council approved the Bergamot Transit Village Tuesday night, the conversation about the mixed-use, transit-oriented development is far from over.

Santa Monica City Council Narrowly Approves Bergamot Transit Village
February 5, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted 4-to-3 Tuesday to approve the controversial Bergamot Transit Village after some minor tweaks to the project's affordable housing mix.

Anti-Development Crowd Protests Outside Santa Monica City Hall
February 5, 2014 -- “Hines Project is not healthy for children and other living things” read one sign carried by a protester in the crowd outside Santa Monica City Hall Tuesday.

Santa Monica Civic Center Selected as New Hub for Direct Bus Line to LAX
February 5, 2014 -- Travelers will soon be able to leave their cars at home, head to Main Street, Santa Monica and hop a direct bus to Los Angeles International Airport.

Whale of a Weekend Coming to Santa Monica This Month
February 5, 2014 -- There could be a good chance to spot a Pacific gray whale swim past Santa Monica this month, and Heal the Bay’s Pier Aquarium will try to make it easier.

School Board to Vote Whether to Make Up Santa Monica-Malibu Ed Foundation Funding Shortfall
This article has been updated
February 4, 2014 -- After coming up short of its $4 million fundraising goal, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation will look to the School Board to make up the difference.

State Senator Ted Lieu Wants to Represent Santa Monica, South Bay in Congress
February 4, 2014 -- State Senator Ted Lieu knew he wouldn’t have much time to make a decision.

Santa Monica Schools Rows for the Future
February 4, 2014
-- If, as they say, rowing builds character, there’ll be a lot of strong-minded -- not to mention more fit -- students at Santa Monica’s Lincoln Middle School this month.

Opinion -- Former City Manager Calls on Santa Monica Citizens to Engage in More Civil Debate
February 4, 2014 -- I am increasingly concerned about the inability of Santa Monica residents to disagree civilly on matters of public policy.

Letters -- In Support of Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village
February 4, 2014 -- On the eve of Tuesday’s Council vote, proponents of the Bergamot Transit Village sent several letters saying that dense development along Los Angeles’ bourgeoning light rail network will not only help reduce traffic in the long run, but is necessary to support the growing public transit system.

Juan Matute -- Anyone who has an opinion on the Bergamot Transit Village seems to have a view on how it will impact Santa Monica’s future mobility.

Gerhard W. Mayer AIA LEED-AP -- I want to add my voice the growing chorus of people who recognize that change may be hard and controversial, but continuing on the path we are on is the far less attractive alternative.

Kent Strumpell -- The Hines project at Bergamot is consistent with our city's strategy of directing growth to this station area, helps us meet our sustainability goals and prepares us for the future.

Jeremy Stutes -- On Tuesday of last week, Hines brought their plans for Bergamot Transit Village before the Santa Monica City Council. At the hearing, community feedback ran the gamut with those opposed to the project making it clear that their primary fear was increased traffic.

Record Turnout for Santa Monica’s Annual Homeless Count
February 3, 2014 -- A record number of volunteers from all corners of the community turned out Wednesday night for Santa Monica’s annual homeless count.

Santa Monica City Council Gets Ready for Round Two on Hines Development
February 3, 2014 -- After hearing hours of public testimony last week on the proposed Bergamot Transit Village, the Santa Monica City Council will vote Tuesday on the controversial project.

Santa Monica Police to Crack Down on Signal Violations
February 3, 2014 -- Santa Monica police will be on the lookout this month for drivers who fail to stop at red lights or stop signs, violations that account for most urban crashes nationwide.

Letter -- Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor is a Dedicated Public Servant
February 3, 2014 -- Because of Mayor O’Connor’s 20-year established position for sustainability and public transportation, and her key role in getting the Expo Line to Santa Monica, she has many supporters (including us) who honor her for those accomplishments.

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2014 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures