Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words


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  • Antisemitism at the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department at University of California Santa Cruz

    Corva Corvax, A Logical Opinion|Apr 19, 2024

    April 12, 2024 - Faculty groups supporting the rights of Palestine have proliferated on college campuses, with nine University of California campuses each having a chapter of Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP)and yet more chapters in nearly 100 other campuses across the country. These groups support the right of those called Palestinians with no regard for the rights of Israelis - and particularly of Jewish Israelis, who they call "colonists." More than 60 percent of the Critical Race and...

  • Why Won't Amazon Deliver Bear Spray to my Santa Monica Address When Addicts, Crime and Other Dangerous Things Are Delivered There?

    Adnan Safadi, Special to the Observer|Apr 15, 2024

    Amazon won't deliver bear spray to my Santa Monica address. Why not? LA County's Department Of Public Health and Santa Monica's City Manager are delivering drugs and needles to my Santa Monica address. Malibu and Beverly Hills and Skid Row and the Palisades are delivering drug addicts to my Santa Monica address. LA's District Attorney is delivering hardened criminals to my Santa Monica address. Santa Monica's Police Department and Santa Monica's City Government are delivering a public safety...

  • Watch the Video - I Dare You, Santa Monica City Council - Look at the True Effect of Free Needle Distribution in Our City

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Apr 15, 2024

    Dear Council, After attending the Friday meeting with LA County Health officials, I was given this vague and unsubstantiated "joint statement" from LA County and Santa Monica regarding the needle distribution in our parks (attached). How disappointing to learn that Santa Monica has supported this deeply confused policy, against the wishes of its residents, all along. The following word salad paragraph in particular has NO connection to reality or science that I can see, (and to be clear I'm all...

  • LA Department of Public Health to Santa Monica residents: We Don't Care About YOUR Health

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Apr 15, 2024

    Open letter to the Santa Monica City Council and the City Manager Much has been made about the needle exchange program conducted by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health in our city streets and parks. So I cleared my Friday morning to spend two hours listening to their abysmal defense of the program, which is really a needle distribution program, because, as even the mad doctor Gary Tsai acknowledged, only 60% of needles gets returned. (How he arrived at that figure nobody knows because...

  • Does Santa Monica Require That Nonprofits Obtain City Business Licenses?

    Olga Zurawska, Special to the Observer|Apr 11, 2024

    Hello City Attorney Sloan and City Manager White, Since the City Council is about to discuss an update to the business license/tax ordinance, this is to request that the City clarify whether non-profit organizations are subject to the City business license requirement or not. Last year when I enquired about this issue with the City Attorney's Office, the following response was offered: "In general, a nonprofit is exempt from paying the City's business license tax, but is still required to apply...

  • Petition to Recall Governor Newsom (Again) is Approved for Circulation

    Rescue California|Apr 8, 2024

    March 26, 2024- - Today, Rescue California announced that the official recall petition to remove Gavin Newsom from office has been approved by the Secretary of State. 75,000 petitions have been requested by angry residents in almost every county. "Exactly one month ago we started the process of recalling Gavin Newsom because he has abandoned the state to advance his Presidential ambitions, leaving behind a $73 Billion budget deficit that is climbing and a public safety, immigration and education...

  • Cleaning Up the Promenade Only Pushed the Transient Addicts and Homeless Mentally Ill to Our Neighborhoods

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Apr 3, 2024

    Dear Council, Walking last night with my wife to a spontaneous dinner at Tocaya on Wilshire, we counted 14 addicts and/or mentally ill people in the 4 blocks from 9th street to 5th street. They were trudging to our alleys and carports, or already holed up in empty storefronts, or heading to Reed Park, or hanging out in the parking lot of the 7/11, or getting ready to bed down wherever. They were high, unstable, and neither of us felt safe. Some were doing drugs, one was buying drugs. My wife...

  • Are Emails Sent to the Santa Monica City Councilmembers Being Diverted - Or Possibly Deleted?

    John Alle, Special to the Observer|Mar 28, 2024

    Dear City Attorney Sloan, Are all emails sent by constituent residents and business owners to you and/or individual Councilmembers, and our City Manager, received unscreened by a 3rd party or City Staff Member? Are the email addresses listed next to our Santa Monica Mayor and Santa Monica City Council Members, and City Manager, correct, and are their email addresses received and read first by each of them? It is my understanding that over 18,000 letters sent over the last 6 months to individual...

  • Humane Society of the United State Board Gets Luxury Hotel, While Pets Get Little

    HumaneWatch|Mar 21, 2024

    In yet another example of how the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wastes money, we learned that its board of directors is holding its spring meeting at the fancy Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown, the ritzy neighborhood in Washington, D.C. It's a helpful, if unintentional, contrast with how little the group gives to help shelter pets. For HSUS executives and directors, life is comfortable. HSUS CEO Kitty Block made over $600,000 in 2022, while 140 staffers received more than $100,000 in...

  • Readers React to Santa Monica Councilmember Jesse Zwick's Declaration of Triumph over Homelessness - and it's Not Positive

    Adnan Safadi and Madeleine Hertz|Mar 21, 2024

    Hi Jesse, I noticed you put out a newsletter where you said: "As 2024 kicks into gear I'm happy to report a number of exciting accomplishments and events on the horizon in Santa Monica. From bringing people experiencing homelessness indoors to making our streets safer for all, we're making progress on the issues residents care most about, while our overall economic recovery is proceeding faster than anticipated." That statement is a complete lie Jesse. You're not making Santa Monica safer for...

  • Two Santa Monicas in Numbers

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Mar 18, 2024

    I want to thank our police department for their work in apprehending this felon (picture below). Great work in catching up to him within 24 hours of his attack-proactive policing at its best. He was on parole in San Bernardino and didn't check in, which is a violation. I don't know what he was originally in prison for, but these days you practically have to kill somebody to go to jail (the last person who attacked me was set free the same day). In Santa Monica, this transient was arrested in...

  • Short Shrift for Veterans as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Reports a 7.4% increase in Veteran Homelessness

    John Grimaldi, Association of Mature American Citizens|Mar 14, 2024

    WASHINGTON DC, March 8 -- Not long ago many of us greeted veterans and active-duty soldiers, sailors and marines with a heartfelt "thanks for your service." It made us feel good. But perhaps it should make us feel sad now that HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is reporting that there's been a 7.4% increase in veteran homelessness. According to the Epoch Times, it means that "nearly 13 percent of the homeless adult population are veterans." Yet, the newspaper notes,...

  • Our Community Already Pays the Highest Taxes in the Nation. So Why is the School District Appealing for Funds?

    Houman David Hemmati M.D. Ph.D., and Ellen Goldstein|Mar 14, 2024

    Editor's note: This is a response to the SMMUSD's recent appeal for private donations, at Dear Dr. Shelton and Esteemed Members of the SMMUSD Board of Education, We hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to you not just as concerned parents within the SMMUSD but as active community members deeply invested in the quality and...

  • Its Time to Make Good Trouble Over Outsized Gelson's Project, Says Neighborhood Group

    Karen Croner|Mar 6, 2024

    Dear Neighbors, TIME TO "MAKE GOOD TROUBLE! I am writing to ask you to show up and use your voices and simple presence to "make good trouble" tomorrow night, Monday, Feb. 4th, regarding the oversized Gelson's development at the Architectural Review Board meeting at City Hall at 7 pm. Alternatively you could WRITE A LETTER to the ARB to be received by 12 pm tomorrow, the 4th, pleading, yelling, singing out that residents’ concerns must be respected. What we want is good for future tenants at G...

  • Santa Monica is Broke. 28% of sales tax is generated downtown, an area with a now-45% vacancy rate

    John Alle|Mar 6, 2024

    Tuesday evening February 20th I attended the Santa Monica City Council's Audit Sub-Committee Meeting. The Audit Subcommittee is not a City commission or board. It is supposed to provide an alternative way for employees, taxpayers or other citizens to confidentially report suspected illegal, improper, wasteful or fraudulent activity and provide periodic review and selection of external auditors. It is supposed to act in an 'advisory' capacity and review all City audit reports, analyze their...

  • Reestablish a Lawful Community: Elect Jonathan Hatami for Los Angeles County District Attorney

    Alyssa Erdley, Observer Staff|Mar 6, 2024

    February 1, 2024 - Can you imagine Santa Monica without drug addicts exposing themselves while you're waiting for a bus? Where vagrants are not allowed to take up residence in your garage? Where those who commit retail theft actually get charged and go to jail? Jonathan Hatami can imagine that. A veteran of the United States Armed Forces and a Los Angeles County prosecutor for the past seventeen years, Hatami is running for District Attorney, the job George Gascon has abdicated since taking the...

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Trump's $355 million fine

    Susan Shelley, Special to the Observer|Mar 1, 2024

    Let me tell you about the time Ruth Bader Ginsburg saved Donald Trump $355 million plus interest. It was Feb. 20, 2019, and Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the court in the case of Timbs v. Indiana. In that case, police in Indiana had seized Tyson Timbs' Land Rover SUV, which he bought for $42,000 with money he received from a life insurance policy when his dad died. The state sought civil forfeiture of the vehicle because Timbs had pleaded guilty to drug dealing and conspiracy to...

  • Springtime in Vienna for Council Member Gleam Davis at Taxpayer Expense

    Sid Baker, Special to the Observer|Mar 1, 2024

    (Editor’s note: Gleam Davis is not termed out and could run for one more term). Gleam Davis will term out on the City Council this year. Why are Santa Monica taxpayers paying to send a lame duck Council Member to Vienna, Austria for a week in April for a housing conference? Find out (or not) when the City Council addresses the Budget at its Tuesday, February 27 meeting. ____ Nobody else could go? But the City is already sending Council Member Torosis. Is Caroline’s attendance not adequate? Why...

  • The Catastrophic Unintended Consequences of the Needle Exchange Program in Santa Monica Parks are Denied by Health Department Officials at Santa Monica Parks and Recreation Division Meeting

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Feb 26, 2024

    Editor's note: We received the following letter sent to Los Angeles County's top Department of Public Health officials from a Santa Monica resident: To Dr. Tsai and Dr. Ferrer, I've lived within two blocks of Reed Park for 25 years and lived firsthand the destruction of our commons under all sorts of "harm reduction," and decriminalization social experiments. I just caught Dr. Tsai's presentation to the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission and your answers to their excellent questions, i...

  • Santa Monica's Utterly Useless Gas Stations

    Jon Berg, Special to the Observer|Feb 20, 2024

    The photos you see here were taken on the same day, Sunday January 21, a mere 40 minutes and about 25 miles apart. The $5.79 "high water mark" was the Chevron on Cloverfield; the low water mark, my favorite Sinclair station in North Long Beach. My absolute fave station, it even offers same price, cash or credit; and, no, I don't make a special trip down there to buy gas. But when I'm passing through on the way back from points south, I take a very short detour and fill up. A fill up of my...

  • Santa Monica City Council Unanimously Votes to Send Two (Wealthy) Members to Vienna, Austria at Taxpayer Expense

    Sid Baker, Letter to the Editor|Feb 20, 2024

    To the Residents of Santa Monica: Remember the names of our City Council members: Gleam Davis Lana Negrete Phil Brock Christine Parra Jesse Zwick Caroline Torosis Oscar de la Torre The City of Santa Monica has many problems. Ample and affordable housing. Public safety. Commerce. Education. Traffic. The homeless. Infrastructure. Taxes. A limited budget. There are many ways to learn about housing and other planning issues and solutions. We have many world class universities in this state a...

  • Eviction Protection: Santa Monica City Council to Consider a Solution in Search of a Problem

    Edith Karmes, Special to the Observer|Feb 20, 2024

    I am writing in opposition to Item 5G ("Discussion of Potential Resolution for Charter Amendments for Additional Tenant Protections") on the Agenda for the February 13 meeting of the Santa Monica City Council, l and any proposal to adopt by Initiative, Ordinance or otherwise any proposal to condition eviction for nonpayment of rent on the nonpayment of any more than the rent that is past due, which in the case of a month-to-month tenancy would ordinarily be one month's rent. This proposal is unc...

  • Gascon's Own Staff Disagrees with LA Times Recommendation to "Keep Gascon in Place"

    Ryan Erlich, Association of Deputy District Attorneys|Jan 29, 2024

    On Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Times endorsed George Gascón in the District Attorney's race. Their justification? Voters should "reject the nonsense and keep Gascón on the job and criminal justice reform in place." The editorial board returned to that theme in their closing sentences. "Voters were right to pick him in 2020," they wrote. "They ought to keep him in place for another term." Notice that language: "Keep him in place." Their editorial was not what one would call a "positive" or ev...

  • Santa Monica City Council Explores Increased Parking Tax as Serious Parking Revenue Leak is Unaddressed

    Jon Berg, Special to the Observer|Jan 22, 2024

    These Observer pages have long chronicled decades of mismanagement by Santa Methica's governing bodies, the accumulated misdirection and incompetence having led the city to the death spiral in which it currently finds itself. However, there is likely agreement among not only Observer regulars, but, residents and tourists alike, that there is at least one thing in which Santa Methica has always excelled: terrorizing all who dare to drive a car here, by handing out very expensive tickets for expir...

  • Santa Monica City Council Should Respond Immediately to New California Densification Laws

    Arthur Jeon, Special to the Observer|Jan 22, 2024

    New state laws initiated January 1st are going to allow building up to 20 stories in Santa Monica and add 67,000 residents. Land use lawyers for developers have already begun pulling and resubmitting housing project plans to the City in order to take advantage of the huge increases in size allowed by the new law. What’s the vision for Santa Monica? Is it Miami Beach? Residents, read this excellent article that spells out what’s coming: (

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