The Argonaut continues its review of local events during 2004. Last week we looked at the first six months of the year. This week we review the final six months of last year.


The Los Angeles Unified School District began a new program July 1st of removing “junk food” from vending machines, student stores and student cafeterias.

New school guidelines set limits on fat, sugar and sodium in food sold or served on school campuses.

Officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) began the second half of the year expecting an increase of 12 percent in passenger traffic over the July 4th holiday from the previous year.

The 37th Annual Marina del Rey to San Diego Yacht Race saw an increase of 24 percent in the number of entries when compared with the previous year.

The race was co-sponsored by the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club in the Marina and Southwestern Yacht Club of San Diego.

Rich Musella began a year-long-term as president of the Rotary Club of Westchester.

Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski said she wanted the RAND Corporation of Santa Monica to work closely with City of Los Angeles airport commissioners on the master plan for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Despite criticism from Congresswomen Jane Harman and Maxine Waters that the airport commission shouldn’t be approving consultant contracts for an airport plan that hadn’t yet been approved, City of Los Angeles airport commissioners July 6th voted 6-0 to approve a $291,000 contract to study the impact of Alternative D.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) suspended payment of a quarterly installment of city funds to the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council because the Neighborhood Council held a candidate and bylaws election June 27th after the DONE recommended that the election be postponed.

Joe Gold, who founded Gold’s Gym and World Gym, died July 11th at Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital. He was 82.

Gold opened his first gym in New Orleans and founded Gold’s Gym in Venice and later World Gym in Santa Monica.

The Santa Monica City Council voted July 13th to put cameras on 125 Big Blue buses to “help reduce vandalism and graffiti, improve security, provide information on passenger and driver disputes and lower fraudulent claims.”

Olympic gold medalist skater Scott Hamilton was honored by the Jennifer Diamond Foundation at a dinner at the Marina del Rey Marriott Hotel July 24th.

The foundation helps people in their fight against cancer.

A trade association representing 23 airlines, including all major domestic passenger and air cargo carriers that use Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — the Air Transportation Association — told airport commissioners that the association opposes LAX master plan Alternative D, which would require, among other projects, the demolition of three LAX terminals. The ATA would later in the year support a “consensus plan” proposed by Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski to proceed with “noncontroversial” parts of Alternative D.

Santa Monica College announced that it had lost between 7,000 and 7,500 students during the fiscal year that ended in June, but college officials expressed optimism that enrollment would rebound by the spring of 2005 to avoid a cut in state funding that could be as high as $10 million.

College officials said the student reduction was linked to budget cuts.

While a Playa del Rey resident was cleaning the garage of a recently deceased neighbor on Trolley Way in Playa del Rey, eight rusted Civil War-era cannonballs were found.

The Mar Vista Community Council — which serves as the Neighborhood Council for the area — voted to oppose Playa Vista Phase II and to rescind earlier support for a redevelopment project at a Taco Bell on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista.

A new season of Marina del Rey Summer Concerts began July 8th in Burton Chace Park.

Concert sponsors included the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Classical concerts were held on alternative Thursdays and pop concerts on Saturdays.

Law enforcement officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) reported that crimes against people and property dropped six percent during the first six months of 2004, when compared with the same period a year earlier.

A lawsuit was filed against the county; Archstone-Smith Operating Trust, the assignee of the Kingswood Village parcel in the Marina; and Kingswood Village by the Coalition to Save the Marina, the Marina Tenants Association and three individuals regarding the assignment of the Kingswood Village parcel.

On December 9th, a judge said the suit had not been properly filed and gave the plaintiffs 45 days to resubmit a proper suit.

Etta Alexander was installed president of the Mar Vista Woman’s Club.

Saint John’s Health Center completed construction of a new North Pavilion four-story, 150-bed inpatient facility July 29th. An official blessing of the facility was held September 23rd and dedication events were in October.

Singer Judy Collins drew one of the largest Marina Summer Concert Series crowds to Burton Chace Park for a free outdoor concert July 31st.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said August 3rd that the City of Santa Monica was partially to blame for the 2003 fatal farmers market crash that killed ten and injured 63.

NTSB alleged that the incident was primarily due to “unintended acceleration by the driver” and a subsequent “failure to maintain control of the vehicle.”

A preliminary NTSB report said the barriers used at the site did not meet the city’s own guidelines or those of the state and federal governments.

The Santa Monica city attorney responded that the NTSB report “appears to include significant inconsistencies and speculation.”

Catalina Ferries began a new high-speed ferry service between Marina del Rey and Catalina Island August 20th.

The Coalition to Save the Marina and the Marina Tenants Association, Inc. filed a taxpayer class action lawsuit August 23rd against the county and the assignee of the Neptune Marina parcel, Legacy Partners Neptune Marina L.P. (Legacy) concerning the assignment of the Neptune Marina parcel in the Marina.

More than 1,200 runners and walkers turned out August 28th for the 20th Annual Jet to Jetty fundraising event to benefit the Airport Marina Counseling Service of Westchester.

Tenet Healthcare Corporation announced that several of its subsidiaries had entered into a definitive agreement to transfer the assets of Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital on Lincoln Boulevard in the Marina area to Centinela Freeman HealthSystem, a newly formed entity.

Ownership of the new entity includes physicians, the Los Angeles-based private investment group Westridge Capital, members of the current hospital management and local community leaders, including Ira Kaufman, who is credited with helping to build Centinela Hospital from its roots as a 12-bed Milton Hospital.

Michael Remis, who has served as chief executive officer at Centinela Hospital Medical Center since 1999, will serve as chief executive officer.

The sale would be finalized before the end of the year.


The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey voted 21-0 September 7th to oppose a consensus plan by Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski concerning the proposed Alternative D to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) master plan.

The County Small Craft Harbor Commission September 8th asked its staff to study the issue of asbestos and disposal of asbestos in Marina del Rey.

The request came after critics charged that Marina buildings were being renovated or redeveloped without proper concern about asbestos and the disposal of asbestos.

The Los Angeles Planning Commission gave approval September 9th for developers at Howard Hughes Center in Westchester to exchange 600 approved future hotel rooms for 600 homes.

Arden Realty, which is developing the site, said the firm currently had no plans to build hotel rooms on the property.

The Santa Monica City Council September 14th gave unanimous approval for two new entertainment studios on the Lantana Media Campus on Olympic and Exposition Boulevards between Stewart Street and Centinela Avenue.

Hines, an international real estate firm, was seeking to build a three-story, 64,105-square-foot Lantana East facility facing Olympic Boulevard and a three-story, 130,000-square-foot Lantana South facility facing Exposition Boulevard.

The Olson Company unveiled plans for redevelopment of a portion of the Villa Marina Marketplace adjacent to Lincoln Boulevard in the Marina area at a September 16th meeting of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee.

Plans proposed 310 condominiums and an additional 9,000 square feet of retail use on a 3.87-acre portion of the shopping center. Maximum height of the project would be 70 feet.

Villa Marina Marketplace is currently owned by M&H Property Management.

The CLARE Foundation dedicated a new building to house CLARE’s outpatient programs on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. The foundation provides drug and alcohol treatment. The new building will be called the Petersen Building. The Esper A. Petersen Foundation donated $1 million for the building purchase.

The Abbot Kinney District Association in Venice had its 20th Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival September 26th, featuring music, food, arts and crafts and a petting zoo in the middle of Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

The City of Santa Monica noted the tenth anniversary of the Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan with 10Fest, held at various sites around the city September 27th to October 3rd to highlight sustainable quality-of-life issues.

Another lawsuit filed against the county September 29th by the Coalition to Save the Marina alleged that the county illegally regulates boating in Marina del Rey by inspecting and giving citations and imposing fines and knowingly causes vessels to be seized for violations under a county ordinance that the plaintiff alleged the county should not have adopted as worded.

The lawsuit was based on an August 20th letter from David L. Johnson, acting deputy director of the State Department of Boating and Waterways, that claimed that the county exceeded its authority by adopting the county ordinance in 1999 regarding “unseaworthiness” of boats.

The state official claimed that the county cannot pass ordinances that conflict with state regulations and that local entities may regulate recreational vessels only in four areas: speed zones, time of day use, special use areas and sanitation and pollution controls.

Passport 04, Macy’s annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, returned to Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport September 30th.

The event was designed to feature Macy’s fall fashions while raising money for charity.


The Air Transport Association, which represents airlines that serve Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), endorsed the “consensus plan” of Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski regarding the LAX master plan Alternative D.

Word leaked out that the U.S. Postal Service planned to close the Alla Vista Post Office and the Marina del Rey Mail Processing Center on Jefferson Boulevard and Alla Road near Home Depot.

Early reports suggested that the Postal Service closure would come in mid-2005. Later in the year, when opposition to the closure increased, some postal employees said the Postal Service planned to close the facilities by the end of 2004 before major opposition could stall or defeat the closure.

All three candidates for the Los Angeles City Council 11th District — Flora Gill Krisiloff, Angela Reddock and Bill Rosendahl — announced that they oppose the “consensus plan” of Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski regarding the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) master plan Alternative D.

The County Department of Beaches and Harbors held its annual Discover Marina del Rey event October 10th in Burton Chace Park.

The event included inflatable games for children, information and displays of various county departments and music from the Venice High School Allegros choral group.

The Boys & Girls Club of Venice honored developer Jerry Snyder at a brunch October 10th. Snyder and his wife, Joan, announced that they would make a gift of $50,000 in matching funds to the club.

The Santa Monica Landmarks Commission voted 7-0 to give the 1940s Sears, Roebuck and Co. department store building at 302 Colorado Ave. city landmark status.

Westchester Realtor and community leader Mary Lou Crockett died October 15th. She had been a City of Los Angeles airport commissioner and library commissioner and founded the Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society.

She had also served as honorary mayor of Westchester and as a member and leader of numerous local organizations.

The Del Rey Neighborhood Council held its first election October 16th. Steve Knight was elected president.

The “interim” director title was dropped October 21st by the City of Los Angeles airport commission and Kim Day was named executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the City of Los Angeles agency that operates the city’s four airports.

The Los Angeles City Council voted October 27th to approve a Venice Beach Boardwalk ordinance requiring street performers and artists to acquire a $25 lifetime permit and participate in a monthly lottery system for 106 designated spaces on the west side of Ocean Front Walk.

The Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council opposed the ordinance two days earlier.


In the November 2nd general election, all three local members of the House of Representatives — Jane Harman, Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman — were reelected.

Local state senators Sheila Kuehl and Edward Vincent were also reelected.

Voters elected Jerome Horton, Mike Gordon and Fran Pavley to local State Assembly seats.

All eight are Democrats.

In Santa Monica, Bobby Shriver, Richard Bloom, Herb Katz and Ken Genser won Santa Monica City Council seats.

Susan Aminoff, Robert Rader and Margaret Qui”ones won terms on the Santa Monica Community College board of trustees.

Jose Escarce, Maria Leon-Vazquez and Kathy Wisnicki won terms on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board.

November 2nd voters gave local measures and propositions mixed results.

A county proposal, Measure A, to increase the sales tax in the county by a half-cent to pay for expanded law enforcement in the county failed to get sufficient voter support.

City of Los Angeles Proposition O — to help keep trash from flowing into Santa Monica Bay — was approved.

A City of Santa Monica Measure N to increase the city bed tax two percent — from 12 percent to 14 percent — passed.

Measure S — a bond measure to benefit Santa Monica College — was approved.

The Santa Monica City Council November 9th voted to extend performance hours on the Santa Monica Pier by two hours to 1 a.m. seven days a week.

Late performances on Friday and Saturday nights had already been allowed.

On November 10th, Flora Gil Krisiloff, candidate for the Los Angeles City Council 11th District seat in the March 2005 primary, filed a challenge to the ballot designation thatone of her opponents, Bill Rosendahl, had submitted for the ballot — “university professor/journalist.”

“This is serious and under the penalty of perjury. It cuts to ethics and clarity and it is a big issue,” Krisiloff said.

Rosendahl taught two classes at California State University at Dominguez Hills before he stepped down to compete for the Los Angeles City Council seat.

California State University at Dominguez Hills officials said the university considers Rosendahl “a distinguished visiting professor.”

Rosendahl called Krisiloff’s ballot title charge “a form of negative campaigning” and “sleazy.”

“It’s a low-class and cheap attack that has no merit,” Rosendahl said of Krisiloff’s challenge.

Greg Nelson, general manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) sent a letter to the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council November 16th indicating that the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Committee, acting as final arbiter for the June 27th Grass Roots Venice election, had determined that “it is clear that Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council violated its own bylaws” with the election, conducting two items of election business on the same day and in the same place, a violation of the Grass Roots bylaws.

Nelson told the Grass Roots group that the June 27th action created “the loss of a functioning Board for the Neighborhood Council.”

Grass Roots president Suzanne Thompson responded that “it is obvious that Mr. Nelson and DONE have continued to want to destroy GRVNC (Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council).”

The 2004 Vibe Awards in Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport November 15th turned into a melee after rap entertainer Dr. Dre was punched in the face at his front row table as he was about to receive a lifetime achievement award presented by music mogul Quincy Jones and rap entertainer Snoop Dogg.

The alleged assailant was identified by police as Jimmy James Johnson, a parolee, who was quickly subdued by Dr. Dre’s bodyguards.

Police alleged that several unidentified men attempted to attack Johnson, setting off what police described as a “somewhat chaotic” scene among the 1,000 in attendance.

Chairs were reportedly thrown at two uniformed Santa Monica police officers and fistfights reportedly ensued among the guests.

Johnson received what police described as a “serious stab wound to the upper body.”

Police from Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood and other neighboring communities were called to help control the crowd.

Police sprayed Mace inside the airport hangar at several fight participants.

When the ceremony resumed, Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, received his award.

Four days later, the man accused of stabbing Johnson turned himself in to Santa Monica police and was arrested on one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Meanwhile, across town the same evening, November 15th, the Santa Monica College board of trustees awarded a $31 million construction bid for a new 540-seat music and performance arts hall and complex to be built on the college Madison Campus, a 4.4-acre parcel at 1310 11th St., Santa Monica.

The Santa Monica Arts Commission voted November 15th to allocate $135,000 to preserve two murals on Ocean Park Boulevard ñ “The Whale of a Mural” and “Unbridled.”

Dr. Piedad Robertson announced November 17th that she will step down effective January 31st as president of Santa Monica College to become president of the Education Commission of the States, a national education policy organization based in Denver.

The Santa Monica City Council voted November 23rd to retain a ban on skating, skateboards, bicycles and other wheeled devices on the Third Street Promenade.


A proposed project of 35 town homes and 4,000 square feet of commercial or retail space on Playa del Rey Beach near Pacific Avenue and Culver Boulevard drew opposition from local residents when the plans were presented at a December 1st town hall meeting in West-chester.

Esther Smicklas, mother of Santa Monica City Council member Pam O’Connor, died December 3rd. She was 93 and had been an active supporter of police, fire and library departments.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board of education elected Emily Bloomfield board president and Julia Brownley board vice president December 9th.

A homeless man entered a Starbucks business in the 700 block of Montana Avenue in Santa Monica December 10th, allegedly created a disturbance and was asked to leave.

When the man reportedly was not given a cup of Starbucks, he allegedly “jumped over the counter and struck an employee in the face, left the store and assaulted an 80-year-old passerby.”

The California Yacht Club Juniors won the “best overall entry” award in the 42nd Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade December 11th with an entry that featured a 40-foot moving bell on Cheyenne, a 50-foot sailboat owned by Alan Blunt.

Close to 40 lighted boats circled the Marina main channel. Theme for the boat parade was “Sights and Sounds of the Holidays.”

The previous evening, about 20 lighted boats participated in a boat parade preview, also in the Marina main channel.

The Santa Monica City Council voted to have Councilmember Pam O’Connor serve a one-year term as mayor and Herb Katz to be mayor pro tem.

Next December Councilman Robert Holbrook will begin a one-year term as mayor.

Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski introduced a motion before the Los Angeles City Council to create a new community design overlay district along Lincoln Boulevard in Venice.

The new district is designed to create more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, control billboards and regulate the types of new businesses along the busy boulevard.

Ground was broken December 16th for a new City of Los Angeles fire station at Playa Vista.

Construction is expected to take about 18 months.

Demolition of a portion of the Santa Monica City Hall has been delayed because the construction company that the city staff recommended withdrew its $2.4 million bid.

The east wing of the City Hall earlier housed the Santa Monica Police Department, which has moved into the city’s new Public Safety Facility.

Demolition of the east wing would restore the City Hall to its original historic configuration, city officials say. The project also includes interim landscaping until permanent landscaping can be developed.

The City of Los Angeles plans a $10 million project to improve the La Tijera Boulevard bridge over the San Diego Freeway (I-405) that would include an art component.

The Santa Monica College board of trustees elected Carole Currey board chair and Nancy Greenstein board vice chair December 20th.

After 18 years in the position, Dr. Susan Fleischman resigned as medical director of the Venice Family Clinic December 23rd to accept a position as medical director for Blue Cross of California of state-sponsored programs.

She will continue to volunteer at the Venice clinic a half-day each week and continue on the clinic board of directors.