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Local News Briefs


March 23, 2015

SMMUSD On Spring Break

Santa Monica Malibu School District began it’s 2015 two week spring break on Friday, March 27, 2015. For two weeks, 9,122 students will have not a care in the world, as they travel with their parents, play video games, go to the beach, or really do anything that isn’t school. This year, the semester is over in May. Students return on April 6, 2015.

Public Input Sought on Concept Design for Reed Park Improvements

Community members are invited to participate in the second workshop on improvements to the 1-acre lawn at Reed Park. Concept design options developed from public input received to date will be presented for community input. The workshop will be held from 10 am to noon on Saturday, March 28, at Miles Memorial Playhouse (1130 Lincoln Blvd).

Located on Lincoln Blvd between Wilshire Blvd and California Ave, Reed Park opened in 1892, making it one of Santa Monica’s oldest parks. Reed Park is home to the historic Miles Memorial Playhouse, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, a senior lunch program, and offices for the City’s CREST afterschool program. The most recent set of improvements completed in 2012 included the addition of a new playground, a new garden adjacent to Miles Playhouse, new landscaping along Wilshire Blvd and 7th Street, and general facility updates. The lawn located in the northeast corner at Lincoln Blvd and California Ave makes up one fifth of the 5.3-acre park. It is located north of Miles Playhouse, east of the basketball courts, and across the street from St. Monica’s Church. In this final phase of improvements for Reed Park, the 1-acre lawn will be redesigned to better connect with the rest of this active park. Public input is needed to ensure that the northeast section of the park will meet community needs.

11th Street Opens at Colorado

The Santa Monica Department of Public Works finally opened the intersection of 11th Street and Colorado, after six weeks of closure. Both streets were completely severed by Metro Line construction, causing Lincoln Blvd to be congested beyond belief.

Further south on Lincoln Blvd., drivers to LAX encountered trenching which caused traffic to standstill, waiting to merge into one lane as drivers drove to the Airport from Santa Monica. An 80 year old watermain below Lincoln Blvd near Loyola University, needed to be replaced

A 100 year old watermain on Sunset Blvd completely flooded UCLA with 4 inches of water last August, causing a frantic effort to replace LA City Infrastructure dating to the 1920’s.

SM Commercial Building Owner Pleads No Contest

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office successfully concluded the criminal prosecution of the owner of a commercial office building, located at 2105 Colorado Boulevard, for Fire and Building Code violations. The owner was charged with rendering fire protection equipment inoperable (such as fire sprinklers and fire alarms) and engaging in significant construction work without permit.

The City of Santa Monica’s Building Official, Ron Takiguchi and Fire Marshal, Eric Binder, jointly referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office, after a routine fire inspection revealed that the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems had been compromised or disabled throughout the building and substantial construction had occurred without any permits. The Fire Marshal and Building Official concluded that these conditions seriously jeopardized the life and safety of the building’s many occupants and the City’s Fire Fighters.

On March 9, 2015, the owner pled “no contest” in the criminal case. He was placed on 12 months of probation and ordered to: 1. Perform 30 days of court approved community service. 2. Pay $10,000 in restitution to the City to cover City investigative costs. 3. Pay an additional $10,000 to the Building and Safety and Fire Prevention Training Fund to train and educate California Fire and Building & Safety personnel. 4. Pay hundreds more in mandatory court fines, costs and fees. 5. Comply with all other applicable laws and permit conditions

Piano Spotted Atop Topanga Lookout In SM Mountains

Turns out the hills of Los Angeles are alive with the sound of music – sort of.

A flyover of the Santa Monica Mountains late Thursday morning showed what appeared to be an unattended piano sitting atop a graffiti-covered concrete slab located at the Topanga Lookout off of Stunt Road.

The cement block sits at the site of an old fire tower and features a picturesque view of Calabasas Peak – and a bizarre location for a musical instrument that weighs at least 300 to 400 pounds. It wasn’t immediately clear how a piano would have been transported up the roughly two-mile hike to Topanga Lookout.

If you want to check out the sight for yourself, it won’t cost you much: no fee or permit is required to make the hike, according to Hikespeak..


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