Santa Monica plans for downtown’s future by making less room for cars By Beige Luciano-Adams The Downtown Community Plan. It was bound to get a little ugly. With a final vote at City Council next Tuesday, both sides have had their say — community and slow growth groups on one side, the increasingly ubiquitous alliance of business, labor and transit activists on the other. Weighing breakthrough affordable housing gains against what he sees as too-slippery a grip on density and height, public transportation advocate Denny Zane gives the city’s efforts “a solid B.” “Ocean Avenue and some other densities...Read More
Category: Inside Santa Monica
Two months after initial outbreak, 100 new cases arose last week By Beige Luciano-Adams Two months after John Adams Middle School students were exposed to norovirus during a weeklong science trip to Yosemite National Park, the highly contagious stomach bug continues to circulate throughout Santa Monica public schools, with at least 100 new cases reported last week. In a media advisory Tuesday, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) confirmed new occurrences at the John Adams campus as well as Santa Monica High School, Lincoln Middle School and some elementary schools. “We had approximately 100 new cases last week,...Read More
Expert says Santa Monica’s declaration of support for the undocumented has some holes in it By Beige Luciano-Adams A recent city resolution expressing support for diversity and outlining (non-)cooperation with federal immigration authorities sounds potent: Another act of resistance from this progressive enclave within a progressive enclave. But, like Los Angeles, Santa Monica stops short of declaring Sanctuary City status — even as political pressure builds for a more forceful rebuke of plans to escalate deportations and enlist local police officers to help. President Trump has vowed to cut federal funding to states and cities that give him agita,...Read More
By Beige Luciano-Adams Although Santa Monica spans only 8.3 square miles, this is a city that tends to go big: world-class sunsets over the Pacific, astronomical housing prices, strict environmental standards and, coming soon, a massive citywide seismic retrofit program. City leaders are considering a law that would require some 2,000 “potentially vulnerable” buildings to undergo earthquake safety testing and upgrades, the majority of them “soft story” structures — i.e. those ubiquitously SoCal apartment buildings that hang over carports, like the kind that infamously collapsed during the Northridge quake. Better safe than sorry, surely, but the question of who’ll...Read More
Crisis and Opportunity By Beige Luciano-Adams The Curse of Living in Interesting Times With Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros at the podium, the Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City event on Monday took on a philosophical tone. Cole offered an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times,” noting that the Chinese word for “crisis” includes characters for both “danger” and “opportunity.” The opportunity Cole and Cisneros see is Santa Monica emerging as a national model of a city driven by progressive values — a place that can evolve...Read More
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