Year in Review: August – Santa Monica Daily Press

Six police sergeants and two public service officer supervisors were promoted up the ranks due to their exceptional character and work ethic. Additionally, five new police officers joined the patrol unit as trainees.

City Hall finally established the terms of a rent control ballot measure for the November election but not before igniting a veritable firestorm of controversy. While debating how to adjust the rent control formula, Councilwoman Lana Negrete proposed a radical realignment of the rules that would have limited increases to about half of rent control tenants while sparing the rest. The proposal triggered outcry and protest eventually prompting Negrete to withdraw her suggestion. Council settled on a proposal similar to one proposed by SMRR to effectively limit rent increases to 3% a year regardless of inflation.

A fight at the Main Library in Downtown Santa Monica resulted in the arrest of a homeless man for murder. The suspect Quade Larry Colbert and the unidentified victim were speaking in the north courtyard of the Main Library when Colbert drew a knife and stabbed the victim twice. The victim, who was also homeless, died at the scene.

The first batch of candidates for local offices qualified for the November election. One City Council candidate (Troy Harris) and two candidates for School Board (Alicia Mignano and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein) were the first to qualify.

The Santa Monica Police Department celebrated National Night Out with an event at City Hall designed to introduce residents to members of the department.

The Festival of the Chariots, featuring music, dancing, vendors, a vegetarian feast, and the famous parade of chariots from Santa Monica to Venice, returned after a two-year hiatus.

The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers during a meeting that was disrupted by protesters who said it criminalizes homelessness.

Data indicated Los Angeles County moved past the peak of a COVID-19 wave.

An investiture ceremony at City Hall formally inducted Gilbert Rodriguez into his role as a Superior Court judge for the County of Los Angeles. Santa Monica’s beloved Gilbert’s restaurant was founded by Rodriguez’s father and while he died before seeing his son become a judge, other friends and family were in attendance to mark the occasion.

Craig Foster, who for the past eight years had served as Malibu’s only representative on the seven-member Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, announced he would not seek a third term.

A legal gambit drafted by Malibu Council member Bruce Silverstein and approved by the Malibu City Council went down in flames before the California Coastal Commission, when the Commission said all rules governing short term vacation rentals (STR) in the city were null and void. The Commission said the City’s refusal to negotiate on the rules left them no choice but to invalidate all of Malibu’s short term rental restrictions.

City Hall said that in three months Santa Monica programs designed to combat homelessness resulted in 80 households being served by the Senior Household Task Force and 88 Community Response Unit (CRU) calls for service.

Team Santa Monica (TSM) U18 boys club water polo team took home the gold medal in the bronze division at the USA water polo Junior Olympics, marking the first major victory for the club.

Street vendor Reyes Contreras Murcia filed a lawsuit claiming the City’s policy of seizing the vehicles of unlicensed drivers and impounding them violates the US Constitution’s Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Street vendors have been protesting city efforts to restrict unlicensed vending on the Pier including protests at City Hall.

SMMUSD allocated $1 million toward renting a building on the Santa Monica College (SMC) campus, the latest expense attached to the John Muir Elementary/Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) campus water intrusion project.

The City won five tenant protection cases in eight months, successfully defending its Anti-Housing Discrimination Ordinance in LA County Superior Court.

Plans to open a new Triumph motorcycle dealership passed Planning Commission with the new business set to occupy property at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 17th Street.

Marae Cruce took the helm at Samohi as the new principal after Antonio Shelton, accepted a new position with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (as executive director of secondary education).

“Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers” (1972), a film starring trans actress Holly Woodlawn, made its Academy Film Archive preservation world premiere at the sixth annual Les Femmes Underground International Film Festival (LEFUFF) in Santa Monica.

SMPD arrested a suspect, 29-year-old Anthony Barrett of Ohio, for an alleged sexual assault that took place at 4th Street and Colorado. The City Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Barrett and SMPD requested anyone else with information about the case to come forward.

SMPD arrested a man suspected of murdering a woman at a Santa Monica apartment. The suspect, 47-year-old Lamont E. Horton, was accused of killing a woman at a residence in a multi-family apartment building on the 1400 block of Lincoln Boulevard.

A UCLA Health/LA Opera program helped long COVID-19 patients strengthen their lungs through singing and breathing exercises. Health patients who struggled with post-infection symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and brain fog logged on to Zoom for free, therapeutic sessions led by LA Opera’s professional singers.

Jessica Kim, an 18-year-old author and poet, was named the 2021-22 West Regional Youth Poet Laureate.

Council began allocating roughly $8 million in city funds toward various “human services” geared toward three program areas: lifelong learning, stability, and health and wellness, through the Human Services Grants Program (HSGP). It was the first time in eight years applications were opened for the money.

An LA County Lifeguard stationed in Santa Monica died in an off duty car crash. Ocean Lifeguard Derek Traeger, 28, died on the northbound 405 freeway, south of Artesia Boulevard in Torrance.

The Santa Monica Architectural Review Board (ARB) reviewed a proposal for a nearly 80 room hotel to be squeezed onto a lot just over 40 feet wide between two existing residential buildings along Colorado Avenue, between 5th and 6th Street.

Santa Monican cut water use by about 8 percent following an ordinance that reduced outdoor watering to alternating days determined by street address. Local water experts said the reduction was perhaps more impressive than LA’s 11 percent cut, because local residents and business owners have been water conscious for years.

The nomination period for local offices officially closed with 13 individuals running for Council, three for Rent Control Board, eight for School Board and five for SMC Board.

A student was transported to a hospital with cuts to his face area following a fight on the Samohi campus. Officers were dispatched to the campus for a fight involving multiple students and upon arrival, officers located one student with a facial laceration he suffered during the fight. The incident was the first of two that unnerved parents. The second involved a fight in the alley behind Samohi that was recorded and posted to social media.

About 50 community members gathered under the Santa Monica Pier to participate in Heal the Bay’s inaugural Poetry Under the Pier event, featuring readings in English and Spanish from poets Ulalume González, Marjorie Agosín and Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson.

Riders of the Big Blue Bus (BBB) ​​were able to provide more feedback on their experience in real-time through the “Rate My Ride” feature of the Transit app. The feature was developed with the help of a $330,432 grant awarded to BBB by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of its Enhancing Mobility Innovation (EMI) Program.

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s (SMBRC) Governing Board voted unanimously, 23-0, to approve a work plan outlining eight projects to protect the Santa Monica Bay’s resources and bring more equitable coastal access to underserved communities around Los Angeles, utilizing a $4.5 million federal grant, spread out over the next five years.

Longtime Santa Monica resident and SMMUSD music and math teacher Darrell Mettler died at the age of 81. Mettler spent more than two decades teaching instrumental music to elementary school students across the District before finishing his career as a math and computer science teacher at Samohi, where he taught for 11 years.

The Short Term Eviction Prevention (STEP) Fund, a program funded by the nonprofit,, launched a pilot program to give out 1,000 micro loans of up to 2,500 dollars to individuals at risk of eviction or dealing with other housing-related challenges .

About four-and-a-half months after longtime Santa Monica Education Foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg announced her imminent retirement from the nonprofit, the Ed Foundation announced it had selected her successor: veteran fundraising professional Mikko Sperber.

The budget for fixing water intrusion at two local schools hit an estimated $19.6 million and the project began to soak up funding that was earmarked for modernization projects on other elementary school campuses

The City opened applications for rent-burdened residents to apply for relief beginning. The program was designed for residents in rent controlled units who were unable to afford the year’s Rent Control General Adjustment. Officials also established a new emergency temporary eviction moratorium to protect tenants facing eviction over the increases.

A new focus on patrolling Downtown Santa Monica cut serious crimes by almost half. Chief of Police Ramon Batista said the decline was the result of a dedicated effort in the area.

Susan Barrett, of Barrett’s Appliances died from Parkinson’s Disease and while many locals shopped from the store she ran with her husband Pete, others may also recognize her name from her generous community work.

City Hall approved changes to vendor rules that allowed sellers in part of Palisades Park, roughly between Broadway and Colorado Boulevard, to set up “vendor patios” — for carts. Prior to the change, vendors were supposed to be mobile.

City Hall spent half a million dollars to expand library services for the next 12 months including reopening of the Fairview branch.

Construction of two new buildings on the Samohi campus began with a groundbreaking ceremony open to staff, students and members of the community. The buildings- the Gold gymnasium and the Exploration building- are being constructed as part of an ongoing plan to redevelop and renovate Samohi campus facilities.

The Santa Monica Conservancy hosted an event highlighting the rich history of the Church in Ocean Park and delving into its role in many of the city’s progressive movements.

Around 200 seniors gathered in the pre-dawn dark of the Santa Monica beach with their classmates to watch the sunrise and kick off their last year of high school.

Keith Coleman, who has sat on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education since January 2021, announced he would be dropping out of the race to retain his seat. Coleman resigned from the board shortly after announcing he would be withdrawing from the race to retain his seat on the board.

Santa Monica experienced a regional heatwave with coastal temperatures hitting the 90s on some scales.

Modelland, the fashion themed business from Tyra Banks, opened after two years of planning.

July. — Sept.

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