Things You Should Know

Tweet DMV Closes The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in Santa Monica, at Cloverfield and Colorado, will close for renovations today, May 1, for nine weeka. It  will reopen on July 6. In the interim, some transactions can be handled by mail or via the DMV website ( The closest DMV office is in Culver City, at 11400 West Washington Boulevard. Daybreak Designs Sale Daybreak Designs, which was created in 1999 as an extension of Daybreak Shelter, will hold... Read More

Conservancy To Give Beach Party

Tweet The Santa Monica Conservancy is giving a party on Saturday, May 9, complete with live jazz, dessert and champagne, at the City’s new Annenberg Beach House. Largely underwritten by an Annenberg Foundation grant, the Beach House opened last weekend. Located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, it combines the last surviving elements  of the historic Marion Davies estate — a guest house and a swimming pool, both of which have been scrupulously restored — with several... Read More

Whither the Moral

Tweet By Ava Tramer Beaches Mostly sunny Highs: 63-74; Lows: 51-59 Inland Partly cloudy Highs: 71-82; Lows: 47-52 Deserts Hot and sunny Highs: 85-96; Lows: 58-66 And Santa Monica… Well here’s a lesson for you folks.  The people in the East had a winter that was frosty and snowy, and their spring was gray, rainy, and cool.  They sat around bemoaning what they saw as the less than ideal weather.  Rather than appreciating the beauty of a waltzing snowflake and the... Read More

Annenberg Beach House Opens Today

Tweet According to the City, it’ll be a “a day of discovery and a day of celebration”  when the $29 million Annenberg Beach House at 415 Pacific Coast Highway opens later today. The Beach House, which was largely underwritten by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation, is the third and leanest iteration of the original, the Marion Davies estate. The largest and grandest estate on the California Coast, it was built by publishing mogul, William Randolph Hearst, for Davies,... Read More

Step Up Steps Up to 5th

Tweet Santa Monica architectural firm   Pugh + Scarpa has just completed a new 46-unit permanent housing complex with rehabilitation and support services for  homeless people and the mentally disabled. Step Up on 5th incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of Step Up on 5th included locating and orienting the building... Read More

Whither Woe

Tweet By Ava Tramer Beaches Hot and partly cloudy Highs: 61-84; Lows: 51-61 Inland Mostly clear and hot Highs: 70-99; Lows: 47-56 Deserts Hot and mostly sunny Highs: 85-102; Lows: 57-69 And Santa Monica… Sun: Oh woe, oh woe, is there no end in sight? Breeze: Why dear cousin Sun, what pains you so? Sun: Oh woe, oh woe. Breeze: Dear dear Sun, please, speak to me.  You can tell me your problems.  What bothers you? Sun: Oh woe, it is too much. Breeze: Are you going to tell... Read More

City Gets It Wrong…Again

Tweet As we have frequently noted, though City Hall ranks Santa Monica’s  diversity as one of its principal and most cherished assets, it has  simultaneously created a whichy thicket of rules and regulations that require mindless conformity. For instance, the City code limits  temporary window signage to less than 20 percent of the “total frontage glass area” during only two, 30-day periods in any calendar year. According to a story in the Santa Monica Daily Press, Vidiots has... Read More

Unlocking the Grid

Tweet Santa Monica City Hall has been at war with itself for some time.  It aspires to make Santa Monica “a world class city,” and an “internationally recognized leader,” and a  “sustainable and/or green city,”  and a “creative capital,” and a “tourist destination,” and a “regional commercial hub.” City Hall doesn’t see it as a war, of course. It sees it as progress. It’s a heavy load for a legendary beach town that rides lightly on the land, and... Read More

Failure to Communicate

Tweet As  the Warden in “Cool Hand Luke” famously said to Luke, “What we have here is failure to communicate.” It didn’t end well for Luke. And it’s not going well for Santa Monica residents. The majority of our elected representatives stopped listening to us some time ago, and began listening  exclusively to their staffs. The proofs are all around us – from our shrinking “urban forest” to the school district’s dysfunctional special education program. But... Read More

Whither Springtime

Tweet By Ava Tramer Beaches Mostly sunny Highs: 65-71; Lows: 51-55 Inland Warm and partly cloudy Highs: 70-79; Lows: 44-52 Deserts Hot and mostly sunny Highs: 78-89; Lows: 53-64 And Santa Monica… As baby bunnies come out to play, And baby ducklings chirp, “Tweet tweet hooray!” We know that spring is definitely here, And the sound of sweet breezes hits the ear. The sun is shining, clouds are few, And everything feels all sparkly and new. You’d think it was... Read More