“This decision is a win for the workers who deserve a living wage, and for the hotels who will benefit from increased investment in the neighborhood and in worker training,” Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said of a state appellate court ruling that upheld a city ordinance requiring Los Angeles International Airport-area hotels to pay their service workers a living wage. (Jan. 3rd)

“It should be a great asset to the community and neighborhood, which has so many historic buildings nearby. It’s just a real treasure trove,” Santa Monica Conservancy member Sherrill Kushner said of the role of the city’s last remaining shotgun house. (Jan. 3rd)

“Every day you hear about the latest close call somewhere else in the nation. We cannot continue to roll the dice and expect that everything will just continue to work out,” Mike Foote, union president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) Tower, said of the concern about staffing levels for air traffic controllers at Los Angeles International Airport. (Jan. 3rd)

“Neighborhood Councils are extremely vital in that they are working in the process of democracy,” Mar Vista Community Council member Sharon Commins said of the advisory role Neighborhood Councils play. (Jan. 10th)

“We don’t know what is correct and what is incorrect, because the data comes from the same system that was inaccurately paying teachers,” said United Teachers Los Angeles president A.J. Duffy, speaking of the system that inaccurately processed payments for teachers for nearly a year. (Jan. 10th)

“After careful review of the materials and the applicable law, we conclude that the process followed by the [Los Angeles] Board of Airport Commissioners at its meeting on December 17th did not meet the procedural requirements of the Brown Act,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote in a letter addressing a violation of the state’s open meetings law by the Airport Commission. (Jan. 10th)

“With this one project, we can correct so many of these little headaches that we’ve had for so many years, and we’ll be able to create a state-of-the-art Student Center to provide the level of service we want to have for our students,” Santa Monica College president Dr. Chui L. Tsang said of the final phase of the college’s Facilities Master Plan. (Jan. 10th)

“We communicated effectively on an emotional level [with California Coastal Commission members] and presented a strong sense of place and home, and the thoroughness of joint community research was very powerful in enabling our victory,” David DeLange, executive director of the Coalition to Save the Marina, said of the commission’s review that said the county is not effectively implementing its certified Local Coastal Program for the Marina. (Jan. 17th)

“You can’t regulate surfing. Surfing is a free-spirited thing. It’s the Alaska we have left to escape the madness that we’re in right now,”

Rabbi Machum Shifren, also known as the “surfing rabbi,” said of the Santa Monica City Council’s decision to strengthen surf instruction regulations. (Jan. 17th)

“Let me speak very frankly, ladies and gentlemen. What you are considering by this proposed ordinance is flatly illegal,” D. Kirk Shaffer, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) associate administrator of airports, wrote regarding Santa Monica’s proposed ordinance that would prevent specific aircraft from using the Santa Monica Airport. (Jan. 17th)

“It’s everyone, a diverse group of people, working together and that’s what makes this wonderful — real tree savers. And of course we’re not giving up,” local activist and Santa Monica Treesaver Jerry Rubin said following the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission’s decision to deny landmark status to 140 downtown ficus trees. (Jan. 17th)

“I remain convinced that we can solve safety issues on the north airfield, modernize LAX and protect airport neighbors. It is an ambitious goal, but our constituents deserve nothing less,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said following the airport commission’s decision to move forward with an environmental study involving the LAX north runways before receiving an additional safety study. (Jan. 17th)

“When you see the number of large jets flying in and out of Santa Monica Airport, you think that it’s only a matter of time, that it could happen again,” Mar Vista Community Council member Colin Hatton said of neighbors’ concerns that were reemphasized after a small plane overran the west end of a Santa Monica Airport runway. (Jan. 17th)

“An additional 2,200 experienced controllers will be able to retire by the end of this year, thinning the already depleted ranks of the workforce at a time when the skies have never been more congested,” said National Air Traffic Controllers Association president Patrick Forrey, calling on the FAA to address the potential loss of veteran controllers at airports such as LAX. (Jan. 17th)

“While I enjoy great relationships with all of my Neighborhood Councils, [financial disclosure] is a reality that all of us in the political process have to deal with. Welcome to the club,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said of the consideration of Neighborhood Council members being required to disclose financial interests. (Jan. 24th)

“This project did not respect the guidelines. We’ve stayed with the same message throughout — that the district is protected by guidelines and in order for it to continue, the guidelines need to be respected,” Karen Blechman, resident of the Third Street Historic District in Santa Monica, said of a neighbor’s proposal to construct an addition in the historic district. (Jan. 24th)

“If this doesn’t bring in more interest to the Neighborhood Council, I don’t know what else we can do. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to gather in their neighborhood under their neighborhood leaders to work on these things and think positively about what they can do to provide for Venice,” former Venice Neighborhood Council president DeDe Audet said of the council’s decision to award city funding to community projects. (Jan. 24th)

“It’s difficult to impact streets that are already gridlocked,” former Venice Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee member Phil Raider said, addressing concerns for a proposed 31-story tower along Lincoln Boulevard in the Oxford Triangle neighborhood. (Jan. 31st)

“Expanded polystyrene and nonrecyclable plastics make up the majority of waste that ends up on the beach and marine environment,” said Dean Kubani, Santa Monica environmental programs manager, discussing the city’s nonrecyclable food container ban. (Jan. 31st)

“I want to make sure the people understand that we’re not here to interfere with anyone’s right to protest, but just ask that they do it in a way that’s respectful of other people’s rights as well,” said Santa Monica Police Chief Tim Jackman, addressing the city’s law requiring those in residential protests to stay at least 50 feet from the targeted home. (Jan. 31st)

“We want to make sure that the community has a face to the name within their patrolled area,” Santa Monica police Lt. Clinton Muir said of the police department’s new patrol plan. (Jan. 31st)


“Don’t come after me with exorbitant fines if I want to protect my kids,” Venice resident Lou Ferreri warned the Neighborhood Council when addressing concerns of fence height regulations. (Feb. 7th)

“The reality is, there is hope for them. These are real people — people with families, people with friends. And these people have a future,”

Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bloom said of the nearly 300 individuals who were found to be sleeping outside in Santa Monica. (Feb. 7th)

“I think that was an indication of all of the stakeholders recognizing and saying that our kids could be doing better, and we will do anything it takes to get them to a place where they are succeeding at a higher level,” Drew Furedi, executive director of the Loyola Marymount University Family of Schools, said of Westchester schools voting to join the district’s Innovation Division. (Feb. 7th)

“I want the remains of the deceased Native Americans to be put back in their sacred burial ground and given the respect that they deserve,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said of plans to rebury the remains of about 400 ancestors of the Gabrielino/ Tongva Indian tribe that were unearthed during the construction of Playa Vista. (Feb. 14th)

“For us as an association, this means recognition, dignity and honors for Nicholas Gabaldon and also the young black surfers who are coming up,” Tony Corley, founder of the Black Surfing Association of Southern California, said of a plaque dedicated at the Santa Monica beach site known as “Inkwell Beach,” an area where African Americans felt safe to engage in beach activities. (Feb. 14th)

“Our community put the pressure on and never stopped fighting. This victory shows you what a group of organized people can do,” Marina del Rey resident Helen Garrett said of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors vote to amend a Marina del Rey affordable-housing policy setting aside five percent of total units for very low-income tenants. (Feb. 14th)

“As important as the beautiful exterior of the station is, it wouldn’t be anything on the inside if it weren’t for [Councilman Bill Rosendahl]. Without the appropriate equipment, without the appropriate vehicles, it wouldn’t be anything,” Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff said at the grand opening of Los Angeles Fire Station 67 in Playa Vista. (Feb. 21st)

“The city should have gone through an environmental review process for the trees and they didn’t. And the city is saying, ‘Even if we didn’t go through an environmental impact report, it’s too late for you to do anything about it’ — and I think that’s a rotten way to treat the citizens of Santa Monica,” Tom Nitti, attorney for Santa Monica Treesavers, said of the group’s plans to continue fighting for the ficus trees in court. (Feb. 28th)

“We want [formula retail businesses[ to keep their tentacles out of our community. We need to have a zone that says, ‘This is for the people, and this is for the spirit of Venice, and it’s worth saving’,” Dawn Hollier said of her group Venice Unchained’s effort to prohibit large chain stores on Ocean Front Walk and Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. (Feb. 28th)

“So if we’re going to cut, we’re not going to find books and pencils we can cut. We have to cut people. That’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s a budget reality,”

said Santa Monica-Malibu school district assistant superintendent Mike Matthews of the district’s plan to cut 25 full-time teachers to deal with the budget crisis. (Feb. 28th)

“These derelict boats are being left on the waterways at taxpayers’ expense. People who abandon their boats are taking advantage of the taxpayers, who ultimately have to pay for the removal or the storage of these vessels,” Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors chief deputy director Kerry Silverstrom said regarding Assemblyman Ted Lieu’s proposed bill to assist agencies in the removal and storage of derelict vessels. (Feb. 28th)

“These are city assets and they should never be sold,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said of former Los Angeles fire stations in Westchester and Mar Vista that were considered for sale by the city. (Feb. 28th)

“Who ever heard of playing on a 15-hole golf course?” Westchester resident and avid golfer Bill Skura asked, discussing Westchester Golf Course regulars’ longtime efforts to restore three holes at the course. (Feb. 28th)


“You cannot recycle your way to a solution to this global marine debris crisis,” said Mark Gold, president of the environmental organization Heal the Bay, addressing Santa Monica’s consideration of banning single-use plastic carry-out bags. (March 6th)

“This really stirred up a lot of anxiety, because Beyond Baroque is one of the few cultural, literary and especially poetry centers like this in the United States. To the best of my knowledge, there are virtually no centers of this kind that are so dedicated to poetry that are independ- ent and not connected to a university,” Fred Dewey, executive director of the Venice arts center Beyond Baroque, said of the possibility for the center to lose its lease on the former Venice City Hall building. (March 6th) Beyond Baroque would receive a 25-year lease on December 22nd.

“These constituents are expressing their worry and anger over the potential bus service cuts at a time when public transit service needs to be expanding, rather than shrinking,”

said County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke of Marina del Rey and other local residents’ concerns about a plan to discontinue Metro Line 108 service to the Marina. (March 6th)

“When people drive by the sign they will see not only the name of a national hero but of a life dedicated to service,” Major Ezra Carbins of the U.S. Marines said during a dedication ceremony for a Santa Monica Freeway sign in honor of police officer and Marine Ricardo Crocker, who was killed in the Iraq War in 2005. (March 6th)

“At over 220 feet, the building will overlook our homes. We’re not opposed to development. We’re opposed to massive development,” Westchester resident Diane Landis said of bluff residents’ opposition to the proposed 340,000 square-foot Entrada Tower project in Culver City. (March 13th)

“These guys stepped up huge and did something beyond our wildest dreams,” Santa Monica High School soccer director Frank Gatell said of the varsity boys soccer team’s first-ever Southern California Regional Division I Championship. (March 13th)

“It breaks my heart to realize the level of suffering someone must go through, to have no other option than to abandon his/her vessel under any condition. That Los Angeles County has been responsible, in part, for displacing some of these individuals is disgraceful,” Andy Bessette, president of the Marina Boaters Association, said of Assemblyman Ted Lieu’s proposed bill to facilitate the demolition and storage of abandoned boats in public waters. (March 20th)

“However, assuming LAX’s air traffic at some point returns to pre-9/11 levels, reducing the hourly arrival rate at the nation’s fourth busiest airport would create severe delays throughout the country,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, addressing the argument of air traffic controllers to reduce the number of landings at the airport for safety reasons. (March 20th)

“The city considers this a fair resolution that brings a highly contentious lawsuit to an end. The city can now pay full attention to our primary goal of restoring the city’s drinking water,” Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz said following a $55 million settlement over a fee dispute regarding the Charnock Well Field contamination. (March 20th)

“I’m fighting the best at his best. [Joel] Casamayor’s got my complete attention,” Australian professional boxer Michael Katsidis, who lives in Marina del Rey, said of his thoughts before fighting Casamayor for the lightweight championship. (March 20th)

“Graphic signs have become a visual blight and a gray area between signs and murals. [City officials] seem to want to control what goes on walls, and as an artist I find that very offensive,” said Venice mural artist Emily Winters, chair of the Venice Arts Council, discussing views of a city sign ordinance that some say blurs the line between signs and murals. (March 27th)

“These guys and gals coming back need our hand and our help and we are not going to turn our backs on them,” Del Rey Neighborhood Council president Mark Redick said of the council’s support for an interim housing facility in Del Rey for veterans returning from the Iraq War. (March 27th)

“We are not looking to increase the number of students on campus. We are capped at 7,800 from our last master plan several years ago. In addition, we will not be expanding the boundaries of our property,” said Kathleen Flanagan, Loyola Marymount University vice president of communications and government relations, addressing potential concerns of Westchester residents with the university’s 20-year master plan. (March 27th)

“We think that it’s a real window to the wetlands and we want the park’s name to reflect that connection to the wetlands,” local environmentalist Marcia Hanscom said of the desire of Playa del Rey residents to change the name of Titmouse Park to a more accurate title. (March 27th)

“Most of the Venice community has wanted the statue back for many years. It’s a landmark. It’s important that the statue — as beautiful as she was and as beautiful as she can be — be back,”

said 1976 Venice High School graduate Laura Ferre of plans to install a bronze replica of the statue modeled after actress Myrna Loy at the high school. (March 27th)


“It’s a sad day in the City of Los Angeles when we lose one of the courageous guardian angels rushing to protect our families and keep our city streets safe. Once again, we have witnessed the stunning bravery and selfless heroism that defines the Los Angeles Fire Department,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said after veteran Los Angeles Firefighter Brent Lovrien of Station 95 was killed during an explosion in Westchester in late March. (April 3rd)

“Stan has been a dedicated, passionate and committed county public servant for almost 40 years. We have been so blessed to have him here at a time when the Marina is undergoing such vast revitalization,” said Kerry Silverstrom, chief deputy for county Department of Beaches and Harbors director Stan Wisniewski, on the announcement of his retirement after nearly 40 years as a county employee. (April 3rd)

“Sunset Park residents are extremely grateful to the City Council for going ahead and adopting the ordinance. We have been hoping for this since 2002, when the city proposed the Aircraft Conformance Program,” Zina Josephs, president of the neighborhood group Friends of Sunset Park, said of the Santa Monica City Council’s approval of an ordinance banning specific aircraft from using Santa Monica Airport. (April 3rd)

“Service to Marina del Rey will continue. After listening to our customers, whether they came in the form of e-mails, phone calls or letters, we will continue to provide bus service to our customers in Marina del Rey,” Dana Coffey, sector general manager of the South Bay for Metro, said of the agency’s plan to continue Marina del Rey bus service on Line 108. (April 3rd)

“LAWA [Los Angeles World Airports] should accelerate these projects. Proposed projects, like moving the runways north, hold our community hostage to a plan for devastation, and that will not be tolerated,” Westchester resident Denny Schneider, president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, said of the need for the airport to push forward “green light” projects. (April 10th)

“Timing is everything. Every major airport has a light rail that goes to the airport, and the [Metro Green Line] extension could plug right into LAX,” said City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who supports extending the Green Line to LAX to help alleviate traffic. (April 10th)

“We’re going to do everything possible legally, politically and diplomatically to save these trees,” activist Jerry Rubin said of his group Santa Monica Treesavers’ continued fight to prevent the removal of ficus trees in downtown Santa Monica. (April 10th)

“He was everything that’s right with fire service. He was the guy who wanted to be at the forefront, which is why he was in the position he was in,”

said Los Angeles Fire Engineer Brendan O’Connor at a candlelight vigil remembering Station 95 Firefighter Brent Lovrien, who was killed in a Westchester explosion in late March. (April 10th)

“I have one concern and that is, when we start to go into people’s private living quarters, where do we stop? I think we’ve got to be very careful before we start stepping on people’s private rights and that’s what we’re starting to do. If I want to go in my house, shut the door and smoke, I think that’s my business. I think we have to be extremely careful,” said Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz, discussing the City Council’s consideration of an ordinance prohibiting smoking in common areas of multi-unit residential buildings. (April 17th)

“I’m so enthusiastic about the possibility of what we can do here. It gives me great honor to serve this community as captain,” said Oceal Victory, expressing her thoughts as she took over as captain of the Sheriff’s Department Marina del Rey Station. (April 17th)

“I think, whatever happens, some problem is going to come around again. I think it’s confusing and very complicated,” Venice musician Stephen Fiske said of his thoughts on an amended vending ordinance for the Venice Beach Boardwalk. (April 17th)

“The Hotel Association of Los Angeles will continue to advocate against overreaching regulation that has negative impacts to our local economy, and support legislation that brings the community together to improve the quality of life for us all,” Ruben Gonzalez, spokesman for the Century Boulevard Corridor hotels, said following the state Supreme Court’s ruling that it would not hear an appeal of the living wage case affecting the airport-area hotels. (April 17th)

“We recognize that development can be allowed and can go forward, but this is just pushing it too far. I think that you need to give this more time, a consideration of 30 more days, and what is that in the scheme of things? This decision will be with all of you for many, many years,” land use attorney Douglas Carstens, who represented a group of Westchester neighbors, told the Culver City Council before it approved the Entrada Tower project in reduced form. (April 17th)

“I believe that one of the things we need to do, first and foremost, is to communicate more effectively with the residents of the county, including those in Marina del Rey. That also includes communicating more effectively with the boating community, our lessees and elected officials,”

said Santos Kreimann, expressing his thoughts as he took over as interim director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors. (April 17th)

“It’s beautiful in there and there are no cars to deal with. It’s better than riding on the street and it’s a great way to get to my doctor without using my car,” Del Rey resident and avid cyclist Howard Hackett said, discussing his support for keeping an access gate open at the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path. (April 17th)

“This is going to decimate our streets. By June, my street will be decimated. I feel completely disenfranchised. We don’t dispute that there are some dangerous trees. We just don’t trust the city that it’s 300 trees,” Santa Monica resident Shannon Daley said of Santa Monica city staff’s findings that about 300 mature carob trees are declining and need to be replaced. (April 24th)

“As the superintendent, I’d like to begin by saying that I apologize for any pain and suffering experienced by any key stakeholders in our school district. I also want you to know that I accept full responsibility for the situation that we find ourselves in today and ultimately, as the superintendent and the head of the organization, the buck does stop with me,” Santa Monica-Malibu district superintendent Dianne Talarico said in response to an independent evaluation of the district’s controversial Special Education Program. (April 24th)

“The parents and community have sent us a message for change. I am excited that the Westport Elementary School community has embraced change and is ready to move forward with us to improve instruction with the help of the iDivision, and its local partner, LMU [Loyola Marymount University],” Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent David Brewer said following the school’s vote to join four other Westchester schools in the Innovation Division (iDivision). (April 24th)

“If people take time out to look at the history of Venice, they’ll see that it was one of the worst areas in the city for gang crimes. Now that we have a level of success, we’re being penalized,” Venice Neighborhood Council member and Venice 2000 executive director Stan Muhammad said of the need for local gang intervention programs to receive continued city funding for services under a restructured plan by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (April 24th)