There Goes The Incline

Tweet The City of Santa Monica, in cooperation with Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration, is, in its words. “proposing to reconstruct the structurally deficient California Incline to meet current seismic standards.” The City has scheduled a community workshop on ednesday, June 20, to explain its plans, discuss the recently completed draft Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Assessment, and hear from residents. The incline descends from the intersection of... Read More

Nightmare On the Way

Tweet The more Environmental Impact Reports we read, the more convinced we are that the people who write them live in some sort of rose-colored bubble. Whoever wrote the draft EIR on the California Incline cited in the preceding article cannot have spent any time here or he/she/they could not have stated so emphatically and cheerfully that shutting down the California Incline for 10 months (real time = 14 to 18 months) would cause only minor traffic disruptions. According to these... Read More

Council Delays SMMUSD Allocation

Tweet Everything suggested that last Thursday night’s Santa Monica City Council meeting would be relatively short and simple. It was the final of three fiscal year 2007-2008 budget study sessions, and most of the heavy lifting had been taken care of at the Tuesday and Wednesday night sessions. Priorities had been set. All of the City department reports on past projects and plans for the coming year had been made by staff and amended, in some cases, by Council members. The controversy... Read More

Gag Orders Should Go

Tweet EDITORIAL At last Thursday night’s Santa Monica City Council meeting (see Council Delays SMMUSD Allocation), Council members spent several hours debating whether it’s within the Council’s purview to ask the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education to rescind the gag orders that have been imposed on parents of children with special needs who have made agreements with the District separate from Federally-protected Individualized Education Plans. Mayor... Read More

Memorial Day 2007

Tweet On this overwhelmingly sad Memorial Day, we mourn the 3,455 American troops who have been killed and the more than 25,000 troops who have been wounded in the Iraqi war, along with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens who have died in the inferno their nation has become. This very unmerry month of May is already the deadliest month in two and a half years, with 101 troops dead now and four days to go. The Iraqi war has gone on longer than World War II, and we still... Read More

Another Dazzling Misstep at the LAT

Tweet The Los Angeles Times is rapidly becoming better known for its mistakes than for its good works, perhaps because there have been so many mistakes, and they have been so dumb. Its latest and one of its most dazzling missteps is its abrupt and rude dismissal of longtime columnist Al Martinez. Unlike many of the LAT honchos,Martinez knows the territory and understands it, and that knowledge and insight are implicit in everything he writes. As important, he has a unique perspective... Read More

Paul Newman Leaves the Set

Tweet Paul Newman, 82, announced yesterday that he wouldn’t make any more films. And the world seemed a little paler and flatter. He was an extraordinary actor – consistently brilliant, always compelling – who should have won a shelf of Oscars, but was often and inexplicably overlooked by the Academy, perhaps because he made it look so easy. Newman was heard but not seen in his last three films, all of which were animated features. His final on-screen appearance was in... Read More

City Continues to Deconstruct Downtown

Tweet City Hall’s seemingly endless drive to perfect downtown Santa Monica, which, by its lights, means turning it into a money mill, went off the rails years ago. For generations, all downtown streets were more or less equal. But, since 1965, when the City turned Third Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Broadway into a pedestrian mall, they’ve been unbalanced. The mall was a pleasant addition, It was lined with interesting, small, locally owned shops, including quite... Read More

Endangered Species: Artists

Tweet To the continuing chagrin of many residents, City Hall insists on calling Santa Monica “Art City,” even as fewer and fewer artists can afford to live and work here. But now that the City’s ”Creative Capital” report has concluded that the arts are a major economic asset, it has finally added live/work artists’ studios at reasonable prices to its “To Do” list. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times last week, Venice is wrestling with the same problem. Billy... Read More

“Studio 60″ — One More Time

Tweet NBC-TV has trailed the other three networks in the ratings for a while because it runs really bad shows – like “Deal or No Deal” – and cancels really good shows – like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” NBC has taken up residence in the cellar, because Brandon Tartikoff and Grant Tinker, the supreme showmen who once ran the network, have been succeeded by a series of gamesmen, who behave as if they know everything, but apparently don’t know that a TV network... Read More