Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Articles written by Alyssa Erdley

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 By Alyssa Erdley    News    January 24, 2020 

George Gascon of San Francisco Wants to be Your County District Attorney, but You Don't Want Him

George Gascon, a Havana-born former police officer, resigned his position as San Francisco District Attorney in October, at the same time announcing his intention to run for the same office in Los...

 

Measure R Connects Citizen Oversight of the Sheriff and Inmate Release

Ballot Measure R, also known as Reform LA Jails, will be on the ballot this March. Somewhat confusingly, the measure tackles two disparate issues. The first issue is assuring that the Sheriff...

 

Only Someone Who's Crazy Would Vote for Rachel Rossi for LA County DA. Literally

Rachel Rossi, currently a criminal defense lawyer at Cohen Williams, a fancy downtown Los Angeles law firm, has announced her candidacy for Los Angeles County District Attorney. You read that right....

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    Crime    January 24, 2020 

Thanks to the American Bail Coalition We Still Have Cash Bail in California

In the November 2020 election, Californians will have a chance to give an up or down to vote on legislation that ends cash bail. Back in August of 2018, Jerry Brown signed SB 10, "The Money Bail Refor...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    January 12, 2020

AB-5: California's Gig Economy Law Reveals Who Brokers Power in Sacramento

The short list of winners under California's gig economy law and the long list of exceptions to it act like a neon sign announcing who controls the power in this state. The winners are the government...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    January 12, 2020

Trump Administration Acts to Protect Jews at UCLA Using Title VI

The Trump administration made it clear this week how they were going to act on the president's executive order that included Jews as a protected group under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The U.S....

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    January 6, 2020

From Earthquakes to Murders and elections, 2019 was one for the record books.

​The news stories happening in Santa Monica this year ranged from the highly unusual to the highly typical. Here's our take on the year that was. The Unusual ​The Ridgecrest Earthquake ​A...

 

City Council Sells Out Santa Monica to SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments)

Radical changes are coming to the cityscape of Santa Monica within the next three months, according to comments made at the City Council meeting December 10. The council was struggling to react to an...

 

Who Says Santa Monica has to build 9,000 Housing Units? An Unelected Group With No Real Power, That's Who

In November, news broke that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) had declared Santa Monica must build 9,118 housing units before 2029, 69 percent of which have to be affordable....

 

#SCOTUS Lets Stand Pro-Homeless Ruling Against Boise. But it's Not as Bad as They're All Saying

The U.S. Supreme Court on December 16 declined to take up a case regarding homeless outdoor sleeping. The Court's rejection of the case lets stand a Ninth Circuit ruling that governments cannot make...

 

Embarrassed City Council Halts Construction at the Santa Monica Airport

Following a unanimous resolution by the Santa Monica Airport Commission opposing construction of a 'temporary' facility for the city's Public Landscape Division (PLD) at the airport, and numerous...

 

Santa Monica City Yard Modernization is a Waste of Money

The City of Santa Monica is spending over $116 million to modernize (i.e., rebuild) their City Yards near Bergamot Station, but the project, on which construction began in July, is already exposing...

 

Coffee with a Cop at the Holiday Substation on the Santa Monica Promenade

We had a nice chat with Lieutenant Bill Heric of the Santa Monica Police Department at the "Coffee with a Cop" event Tuesday morning held at the holiday pop-up substation on the Third Street...

 

SMMUSD Sustainability Coordinator Caroline Coster Wins Scholarship to Study, um, Sustainability.

It should be no surprise that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has a Sustainability Coordinator. This is Santa Monica (and Malibu). Of course we would employ someone to focus on...

 

Shoes Wanted for the Homeless Before Thanksgiving; Call For Pickup

Ralph wants your shoes. Ralph Hattenbach doesn't head any famous national charity organization. He doesn't earn a five-to-six figure income in order to devise means of persuading you to donate to any...

 

Woke SMMUSD Schools Win Energy Awards but Can't Keep Their Restrooms Clean

Nine schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have won Energy Star Certification for 2018. To be certified, a building must earn an Energy Star score of 75 or higher. This indicates...

 

City Plans to Do What It Wants With Airport Land it Will Inherit in 2028

The Santa Monica Airport Commission, agreeing with the concerns of residents, voted unanimously on November 19 to oppose the city's plan to 'temporarily' move some of their services to the Santa...

 

Yet Another Tower to Start Construction on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica

The canyon of construction that Lincoln Boulevard has become near the 10 Freeway onramp is going to receive a new addition to the mess this spring. The current surface parking lot between Santa...

 

Thirty Meter Telescope: Mauna Kea Protest is Not a Culture War

The protesters blocking the access road for construction of a new Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii are only the latest in a long line of protests...

 

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Joins Native Hawaiians Objecting to 100' Telescope on Mauna Kea

Protesters have camped at the foot of Mauna Kea, a dormant 14,000-foot volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii for a week now, blocking the access road and demanding the halt to construction of a $1.4...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    July 22, 2019

Work Begins on City Yard Modernization, Some Wonder about Recycling Center Closure

After three years of preparation, construction began this month on the modernization of the 14.7-acre Santa Monica City Yards located adjacent to Bergamot Station on Michigan Avenue. The City Yards ho...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    July 1, 2019

Though Down 7%, Santa Monica City Budget Maintains Some Costly Items

The Santa Monica City Council approved a nearly $1.6 million budget for 2019-2021 on Tuesday. This is $108 million less than the previous two-year budget, a decrease of 7 percent. While cutting 29...

 

Article 34: California Voters to Decide Against their Right to Decide

A bill proposed by Santa Monica's State Senator Ben Allen would repeal Article 34 of the California State Constitution. On June 4, Allen's bill was approved unanimously by the California State...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    News    May 21, 2019

Jury Awards $2 Billion in Third Courtroom Verdict Against Roundup and Monsanto

In a third strike against Monsanto, maker of the weed-killer Roundup, an Alameda County jury awarded over $2 billion to a Livermore couple who each contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The couple, Alva...

 
 By Alyssa Erdley    Politics    May 21, 2019

Santa Monica to Pay $85,000 Annually to Consultant to Track the Homeless

City staff are asking the Council to contract with an outside consultant to manage their homeless tracking system. In order for the City to receive federal funds for homelessness, they are required...

 

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