Santa Monica Dispatch

The Santa Monica Dispatch is an independent newspaper founded and edited by Peggy Clifford. Our objective is to give voice to the community.

Monthly archives "December 2010"

Facts vs. Fictions

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In a story listing the ten top news stories of 2010, the Santa Monica Daily
Press lards the facts with fiction.  According to the story, a “$12 million budget gap and more than 60 layoffs at the district…brought together school advocates and the electoral might of City Hall’s municipal unions. Known as Measure Y, the half percent sales tax increase proposal needed only 50 percent of the vote to succeed…and passed with a landslide on Nov. 2. Expected to raise $12 million per year — half for City Hall and half for public schools — the passage of Measure Y was a sweet victory for school advocates…the worst recession in decades was no match for a united front put up by Santa Monica’s traditional power brokers.”
That’s a lovely story: the good people of the community working together to save the schools. But it’s not true. As the people who opposed passage of proposition Y said, the additional tax was not necessary. Then-Mayor Bobby Shriver put it succinctly. The City was “rich,” he said. Jeff Segal, in an analysis of the current half-billion dollar City budget, noted that it included a $26 million allocation for employee raises – in a year when no one, including Social Security recipients, was given the customary cost of living increase, much less a raise, and many residents’ incomes had dropped. Read More →

It’s Time for a Change

Peggy Clifford 2 Comments

From the first issue of the Dispatch: 4/21/2007

Santa Monica is a legendary beach town.
It was founded in 1875 as a simple real estate development. Five generations of bright, talented, devoted, diverse residents have made it a gorgeous, complex, idiosyncratic, grandly volatile and deeply satisfying place to live and work — perfectly located on the ocean, small in scale, low key, prosperous – in the midst of the myriad glories and excitements of 
Los Angeles.
It’s unique, an original, not a copy.
The primary fact of Santa Monica, its shaping element, is the ocean, and, aside from its sublime location, its greatest asset has always been its residents. They are smart, savvy and independent, and they are fiercely devoted to Santa Monica.
But Santa Monica’s residents have lost control of their town. Read More →

Merry Christmas! Unmerry Muddle

Peggy Clifford 0 Comments


A couple of years ago, the City decided to install a mega-housing project in the Civic Center. 364 units — slightly less than half “affordable” rental units, slightly more than half “luxury” condominiums, underground parking, stores, cafes, massive buildings of no distinction, including some that exceed existing height limits. A joint project of the Community Corp. and the Related Companies of Los Angeles, one of America’s largest developers,
“The Village,” as the City named it, has yet to be built, but, if the City has its way, we are in for a plague of “villages,” including the proposed 35-acre “Bergamot Transit Village,” and the proposed 960,000 sq. ft. office/residential/mixed use project at Olympic and 26th Street, with 2,000 parking spaces, “Bergamot Transit Village Center,” and the newly approved revised land use and circulation elements of the General Plan (LUCE) mandates the creation of multiple “urban villages.”
This late-day rush of “villages” in our midst is undoubtedly inspired, in part, by the belief in City Hall that “village” sounds less threatening than, say, a ” 960,000 square foot commercial
Like so many planners’ devices, “urban village” is an oxymoron, but almost any “commercial development” here and now is ominous, given the gridlock that afflicts most streets in Santa Monica. Read More →

Whither…Weather Identity Crisis

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Whither…Weather Identity Crisis

By Ava Tramer

Partly cloudy
Highs: 59-65; Lows: 46-52

Sunny with clouds
Highs: 60-68; Lows: 40-47

Mostly sunny
Highs: 63-69; Lows: 48-51

And Santa Monica…
Anchor 1: And we’re coming to you with breaking news:
Anchor 2: His (gesturing to anchor 1) dog isn’t as cute as he thinks it is!
Anchor 1: That was unnecessary. This breaking news just in:
Anchor 2: You pooped your pants!
Anchor 1: Cut it out!! We’ve just received word of breaking news:
Anchor 2: The weather is bad!
Anchor 1: Hey!!!! Stop stealing my thunder!
Anchor 2: Alert! Weather pun!
Anchor 1: Stop it stop it stop it!
Anchor 2: Just trying to spice things up.
Anchor 1 (trying to snap out of his annoyance): Ok. (deep breath) With all this rain we’ve been having, it’s almost as though we’re in Seattle and not Santa Monica!
Anchor 2: Identity Crisis 2010!
Anchor 1: That’s actually kind of good.
Anchor 2: Duh!
Anchor 1: Breaking News Alert! Identity Crisis 2010!
Anchor 2: Christmas Identity Crisis 2010!
Anchor 1: Oh that’s really nice. Friends?
Anchor 2: Maybe.

Developers Threaten Santa Monica Way of Life

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by Ty Wapato

The 2010 City Council election is a vivid example of how big money developers distort the truth to impose their wills on the citizens of Santa Monica. The contemptible slate mailers that misrepresented the endorsements of CEPS and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association, while they may seem like yesterday’s news, are a clear demonstration of how low the developers will stoop. The Police Association issued a statement protesting the misuse of their logo on the mailer, but by then the damage was done.

More troubling is the appearance that the candidates benefiting from their treachery were complicit in the deception. In small print the mailers stated that these candidates had paid to be included. Later they denied any connection with the mailers. It was convenient that they did not have to issue their denials until after the election. Read More →

Whose College Is It, and Who’s It For?

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by Carl Gettleman

Richard Tahvildaran, who as President of the Academic Senate opposed giving course credit to students for serving as elected officers in the College’s shared governance system, was previously confronted by the HR Department for a similar misuse of student labor to support candidates of his choosing in a local campaign. Tahvildaran, one of the most unctiously self-aggrandizing sycophants in SMC history (a high bar I assure you), has undue influence with the governing board of the College and has used that influence to secure taxpayer-funded junkets to Europe and elsewhere for himself and selected members of his entourage. Read More →


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by Peggy Clifford

Anyone from anywhere can come into Santa Monica and set up a fake committee called  “Santa Monicans for Quality Government,”  though he’s not a “Santa Monican” and, as far as we know, is the sole member of the group.

And the aforesaid anyone from anywhere can collect money from developers, property managers and developers’ lawyers, most of whom are not Santa Monica residents and have no interest in “quality government,” but a fervent interest in “friendly government,” as they all have major projects seeking approval from what passes for government in Santa Monica, and he can use the money to feature Council members who are seeking re-election
in bogus mailers.

The candidates who are featured in the bogus mailers can claim that they knew nothing about them. though the man who made them was the campaign consultant for two of the candidates, and a line in the mailers says that the candidates who appear in the mailer have paid for and authorized their appearance in the mailers.

The candidates can take the developers’ money and approve their projects and say –with straight faces — that the developers’ contributions did not influence their votes. Read More →


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The December 14 City Council Consent Calendar included a $1,632,360 allocation for “improvements” to the new CityTV studio, for which the City paid $1 million-plus not long

The Council  approved the allocation unanimously, without any discussion.

Thus, the City will spend $2.5 million in public funds for a “government access” TV channel that offers no public access, broadcasts only a few of Santa Monica’s ‘s public meetings, a handful of  locally produced programs, almost all of which look like  nothing so much as propaganda for City Hall — from which all blessings flow, a plethora of canned programs and virtually no live public events, except the meetings.
Read More →

Santa Monica Red Cross Fires Up “Spark of Love” holiday toy drive

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Young volunteers from the American Red Cross of Santa Monica will collect toys and gifts again this year for needy children and teens as part of the annual “Spark of Love Toy Drive.” Red Cross teenagers will also help Santa Monica Firefighters distribute the toys to deserving children in Santa Monica and nearby communities.

The Red Cross of Santa Monica, KABC Channel 7, Santa Monica Firefighters and the Rotary Club of Santa Monica will collect toys through Friday, December 24. As in previous years, new unwrapped toys and sports gear can be dropped off at the Santa Monica Red Cross or any Santa Monica Fire Department station.

Countless children in Santa Monica and neighboring communities will receive new toys this holiday season. Especially needed are toys, games, books, school supplies and items appropriate for teens from the ages of 14 to 18.

Read More →

City To Undertake Extensive Airport Study

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At  Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council,  City staff will recommend that the Council  “1.    Direct staff to proceed with a comprehensive public process regarding the future of Santa Monica Airport. 2.    Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a professional services agreement with The Rand Corporation, a California-based company, in an amount not to exceed $145,000, for a study of airport and non-airport real property development concepts and applications and local applicability. 3.    Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a professional services agreement with  Point C, a California-based company, in the amount of $81,500, to formulate and manage an extensive community process regarding the range of possibilities for the Airport’s future…

“The future of the Airport one of the most important land use decisions facing the City.  Staff recommends a comprehensive process including creation of a vision for the future of the Airport, analysis of relevant concepts and their local applicability, as well as broad stakeholder engagement about the future of the Airport.

“To begin that process, the City Manager has exercised his authority to identify firms hat are uniquely qualified to assist the City with this unique and crucial task: the Rand Corporation and Point C.

“Rand was identified because of its impeccable reputation and credentials and its deep understanding of the community.  After evaluating the City’s needs, Rand has proposed to undertake an initial study of the current state-of-the-art with regard to nontraditional uses of airport and airport-adjacent land and to prepare a presentation on the range of possible futures that could be considered for the Airport.  The cost of the initial study is $145,000.  An expanded scope of work could be considered in the future.”
Read More →