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

Articles written by Jack Simon

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 By Jack Simon    News    October 15, 2021 

New State Law Will Free 'Blood Slave' Donor Dogs

California has passed a new law that will phase out the inhumane practice of keeping "blood slave" donor dogs in captivity. Over the weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law, AB1282, which lets...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 15, 2021 

SM City Council Approves Revised 2021-29 Housing Element Update

The Santa Monica City Council this week adopted the revised 2021-2029 Housing Element Update, which "prioritizes 100% affordable housing in city-owned land" and "addresses historic discrimination and...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 15, 2021 

Santa Monica to Start Major Pico Blvd Street Resurfacing Project October 18

Traffic may heavy and possibly brutal on the west side of town for the next four weeks. Between Monday, October 18, and November 12, the city of Santa Monica contractor, Excel Paving, will grind out...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 15, 2021 

Ramon Batista Named New Santa Monica Police Chief

Ramon Batista, Jr., a 35-year law enforcement veteran, has been appointed as the new Santa Monica Police Chief, city officials announced on Thursday. He starts his new post with an annual salary...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 15, 2021 

SMMUSD Ponders Vaccine Mandate for Eligible Students

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is on the verge of mandating vaccines for all eligible students. The local School Board will discuss a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all...

 

Firm that Analyzed the May 2020 Riots to Serve as Inspector General of SM Civilian Oversight Panel

The OIR Group, the consulting firm that analyzed and issued a detailed report on the events connected to the civil unrest in Santa Monica, of May 31, 2020, will soon become the first Inspector General...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 11, 2021

E-bikes Operator Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit with Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Santa Monica and Los Angeles has settled a jointly-filed, consumer protection lawsuit with Wheels Labs, a shared mobility company that operates a fleet of e-bikes.  Wheels Labs agreed to pay $300,...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 11, 2021

Reusable Glass Bottles to Make Comeback in California

Californians will soon see the return of glass beverage bottles to their supermarkets. Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed a bill, AB 962, which paves the way for reusable glass bottles to flow...

 

Lawsuit contends landlords unlawfully converted rent-control building into complex for vacation rentals

The city of Santa Monica has sued a local landlord for allegedly converting a rent-controlled apartment building on 10th Street into a complex mostly used for "unlawful vacation rentals," thereby viol...

 
 By Jack Simon    Politics    October 6, 2021

City Extends Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Orders Through October 31

About 84% of local residents are fully vaccinated, announced the City of Santa Monica this week as it extended its local emergency orders through October 31. "Santa Monicans have done an incredible...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    October 6, 2021

SM Council Approves Plan to Revitalize Third Street Promenade

Hoping to revitalize its world-renowned, open-air shopping center, the Santa Monica City Council this week unanimously approved zoning changes for the Third Street Promenade that will allow new and...

 
 By Jack Simon    Crime    October 6, 2021

Four Southland Residents Indicted in Alleged Target Gift Card Fraud Scheme

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted four Southland residents in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that induced people into purchasing thousands of Target gift cards, which were...

 

SM Council to Appoint Joseph Lawrence Interim City Attorney

Santa Monica will soon have a new interim City Attorney but a familiar face to local city government. The City Council is expected to appoint Joseph P. Lawrence as Interim City Attorney at its next...

 
 By Jack Simon    Crime    September 27, 2021

SM Business Executive Pleads Guilty in Conduit Campaign Contribution Case 

A Santa Monica business executive pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal charge of conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions during the U.S. presidential election in...

 

Malibu's Break-up Proposal Clears First Hurdle of Lengthy Process

The City of Malibu's petition to break up the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District into two separate districts cleared a major hurdle Saturday as a Los Angeles County Office of Education panel...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    September 18, 2021

SM Fire Department Launches new Response Unit to Assist the Homeless

The Santa Monica Fire Department this week launched a new emergency response unit which will address the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The Community Response Unit (CRU) looks like a typic...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    September 18, 2021

SM City Council Opposes Malibu's Plan to Split SMMUSD

The Santa Monica City Council has gone on the record with its opposition to City of Malibu's petition to split the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District into two separate districts. This...

 

State Legislature Passes Bill to Ensure Cities Rezone for Housing Needs

The California State Legislature has approved a bill which "will ensure cities and counties are adequately re-zoning to meet their housing needs" – a move many critics and homeowners say may lead...

 

County Education Office Backs Malibu's Plan to Split from SMMUSD.

The City of Malibu's petition to split the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District into two separate districts received a major boost from county officials this week. Los Angeles County Office of...

 
 By Jack Simon    Crime    September 10, 2021

'Ambush Shooting' Lands 1 Suspect in Hospital, 2 in Culver City Jail

Culver City police have arrested two people on attempted murder charges and one man on accessory charges in connection with an ambush shooting last month. One of the suspects was apparently shot by...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    September 10, 2021

Santa Monica Police, Fire Departments To Commemorate 20th Anniversary of 9/11

The Santa Monica police and fire departments will conduct a brief and solemn ceremony this Saturday, September 11, in remembrance of those who perished 20 years ago during the terrorists' attacks at t...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    September 6, 2021

SM Secures $45 Million in Grants to Fund 'Water Self-Sufficiency' Projects

Amid the statewide drought that turned flowing streams into dry river beds, the City of Santa Monica has secured over $45 million in grants to advance "water self-sufficiency projects to diversify...

 

SM School District Superintendent warns students: 'No Covid tests, no more in-person instruction'

Roughly 85% of families in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have provided consent for weekly COVID-19 testing of their children, district officials announced yesterday. The remaining...

 
 By Jack Simon    News    September 2, 2021

Rental Assistance Available to Qualifying Santa Monica Tenants

With the statewide eviction moratorium expiring September 30, Santa Monica officials are urging local tenants in need to apply for the state's rental and utility assistance program. Currently,...

 
 By Jack Simon    Politics    August 31, 2021

SM City Council Mandates Vaccines for City Employees, Volunteers, Contractors

Following in the footsteps of its neighbors, the Santa Monica City Council this week voted to require all city employees, volunteers and contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But the...

 

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