Local News Briefs
May 4, 2015
Chef at SM Whale Sushi Restaurant Sentenced
A chef who worked at a Santa Monica restaurant that illegally served whale meat has been sentenced.
City News Service says Susumu Ueda was sentenced Monday to probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Ueda worked at The Hump at Santa Monica Airport. An investigation was launched after producers of the documentary “The Cove” secretly filmed meat from the federally protected sei whale being served at the sushi restaurant five years ago.
The restaurant closed.
The owner was sentenced last month to fines and probation.
Another chef and the whale meat supplier pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and await sentencing.
Council says no to higher-rise buildings
In a 4-3 vote, council members removed the option to build taller buildings throughout some of the city’s downtown.
Councilmember Gleam Davis was in favor of allowing five-story mixed use buildings along Wilshire Boulevard. She said putting restrictions on housing in the city is a mistake.
“So for a group of people who claim to support housing, I’m actually quite honestly stunned that we’re not erring on the side of favoring housing,” she said before the vote.
This was a small victory for the 50 protesters who gathered outside City Hall prior to the meeting. They held signs that read: “Too big. Too tall. Too much.” They were all a part of the advocacy group Residocracy.
T he council’s re-zoning decision did not come without debate. The council heard from nearly 100 residents before making a decision Tuesday. They also heard from over 100 community members last month.
Overall, public opinions were split. Some argued that taller buildings would change the beach town. Others said it would promote public transit and affordable housing.
Santa Monica Public Library Surveying Residents
Launched on May 1, the Santa Monica Public Library has issued a survey to seek input from residents and library users on how to best meet the community’s needs.
The survey is meant to assess how the community uses the library, and how satisfied people are with the library’s current set of services. In addition to the books and DVDs available for check out, the library’s services include homework help, Adult Education Classes (on topics such as job skills, computer literacy, ESL, etc.), and online access to over 30 premium subscription databases.
The survey aims to identify what new programs the public would find most helpful. Proposed programs include “maker space,” where library users could access 3-D printers and advanced computers to “work on technological and creative endeavors;” a seed library meant to encourage seed sharing amongst local gardeners; and “bicycle-related programming,” which could potentially take the form of a bike-powered mobile library.
The survey is the first step of the Santa Monica Public Library’s strategic plan to update the libray and its services, as well as its position in the community.
The survey can be found online at smpl.org/survey.aspx (English) and smpl.org/encuesta.aspx (Spanish).
For more information, contact Claudia Fishler, Assistant City Librarian at (310) 458-8607 or [email protected]